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CENTRE FOR COMMUNITY DIALOGUE AND DEVELOPMENT,
PEACE CARAVAN/RALLY ON 28TH February 2013,

HELD AT CHEMELIL SPORTS GROUND

This program is supported by USAID and the people of Kenya. This report was compiled by the Centre for Community Dialogue &Development.
The Centre for Community Dialogue and Development on the 28th February 2013 held a road show along the following route: Karunga Miwani…..Chemursoi…Kibisem …….Chemase…..Kibigori….   .Chepswerta…. …Kapkuong…….Potopoto….Owiro via daraja mbili …….Kopere. The road show culminated in a peace rally at Chemelil sports ground where hundreds of participants graced the occasion.
The road show was flagged off by the grantee staff together with several chiefs from all the already identified peace cell locations at 7.00 am, the caravan sought to achieve two main objectives:


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To invite all the members of the public to the main rally at Chemelil sports ground.
To sensitize members of the public on the need for a peaceful coexistence during and after the elections.

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The caravan made several stop over along the way to acknowledge the message of good will from the jubilant members of the public who turned up in large numbers to receive the caravan as it passed through their areas. The main guest artists’ Gospel Warriors took considerable amount of time to entertain the people at every stop over with their unmatched dancing style. coupled with their scintillating and rib tickling comedies.

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Members of the public too were not left out as they competed through dancing for the treasured Centre for Community Dialogue and Development T-shirts, those with the best moves efforts were rewarded with the T-shirts. The caravan braved the sunny and rocky plains of Chepswerta to the steep cliffs of Owiro in ensuring that the peace campaigns actually got to the target audience.

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THE RALLY
Introduction by Mr. David Busienei
Mr. Busienei began by recognizing the presence of the district officer together with several chiefs from the area; he then appreciated the   efforts of the so many people who had sacrificed their time and resources to grace the occasion.

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He then introduced the twenty five peace members from each peace cell i.e Owiro, Miwani, Chepswerta, Chemelil and Kopere who were elected during the respective community forums. He informed the audience that they are set to be trained on early warning mechanisms and Conflict mitigation and that they will spearhead peace initiatives in their respective areas  as they will now be working directly with the Centre for Community Dialogue and Development in ensuring that sanity prevails at all times.
He challenged the audience to fully implement all that they have been discussing during the community forums and ensure that they keep their promise of peace and coexist peacefully with their neighbors and ensure that tranquility prevails during the coming elections.  

Remarks by DO 1
He called on the participants to volunteer information that would make it possible for the restoration of calm and sanity in the area,” because we are all here to stay let’s not be misled that some people will be leaving this village or even this town, therefore it’s time we concentrate on matters development as that’s the only tangible avenue through which we can liberate ourselves”.

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 He opined that time has come for the young people to rise above partisan politics guided by ulterior motives and make informed decisions.” we can no longer continue to wallow in abject poverty whereas the very leadership which is supposed to champion for our liberation is in itself literally frustrating every effort to elevate our collective wellbeing, so that they can continue to propagate the culture of impunity”.
He challenged the local administration to take appropriate action against anyone who would jeopardize the credibility of the coming elections arguing that it was better for some people to face the full force of the law than for the entire society to be at stake.
He went ahead to say that they have a chance this time round with the help of the new constitution to vote in peace and democratically.” Let’s stand strong confound and shun those skeptics who time and again have prophesied violence confusion and apathy. This should be our collective responsibility to seek solutions for many historical injustices that have weakened our ability to move together in the same direction”.
He cited the devolved Government system as an ultimate weapon that would address the so many problems that are bedeviling the people of Kenya.  “We therefore have a duty and obligation to ensure that our County Governments serves the needs of our communities”.
He concluded by asking the participants to put the interest of the Country ahead of their own personal interests because Kenya needs to reclaim its place in the African continent as a power house of peace.” That is the position it has always held after successfully mediating the more than twenty years of civil war in Sudan, such achievements are remarkable which we cannot afford to water down”.
Other speakers in the meeting dwelled on the need to have an election process that respects the will of the people and also important for the people to be mature enough to accept the outcome of the election and incase there is any logical complaint then the aggrieved parties should seek legal redress.
They collectively pledged that never again shall they  be used by  politicians to cause  violence and other acts of lawlessness  because they argue that they now have a better  reason to stand together as a people fighting a common enemy, that of under development in the border and beyond.

Challenges

  • The venue of the rally was more than 20 kilometers from Owiro and Miwani and close to 15 km from Chepswerta hence many people from these areas never turned up for the rally while those who turned up wanted transport reimbursement.
  • There was need for at least two day road show to sensitize more people to attend the final rally  as many people at the stop over  were ready to attend the meeting only that they were not aware .
  • Several meetings happening at close range served to mislead so many people who finally traced the actual meeting they were supposed to attend late in the afternoon.
  • The road show happening during a campaign time meant that the people’s expectations were very high especially in terms of handouts thus slowing down the otherwise smooth progress of the caravan.
  • The steep and rocky routes not only slowed down the road show but finally broke down the truck thus frustrating the entire event.

Conclusion
The road show was an embodiment of successful community forums in the entire Nandi/ Luo border. The presence of top administration officials also served to rubber stamp the whole importance and sensitivity of the subject of cohesion that the Centre for Community Dialogue and Development had all this while been championing.
Pictorial view of the rally
Chepswerta youth performing a skit        

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Gospel warriors performing a drama