Handshake Has Not United Kenyans, Outgoing ‘Toothless’ NCIC Boss Olekaparo says

Outgoing National Cohesion and Integration and Commission Chairman Francis Ole-kaparo has justified his ‘toothless’ barks during his tenure at the body.

He claimed the NCIC has not met Kenyans’ expectations due to political interference

This he averred during a farewell luncheon at Intercontinental hotel in Nairobi on Thursday ahead of the expiry of his term this month.

Kaparo complained that politicians “hugely undermined” he and his teams’ efforts in the fight against negative ethnicity.

“It gives me a headache that we have not achieved much to bring Kenyans together – the main mandate of the commission. “This is because of political interference, but even as I quit the position, I will dedicate my life to uniting Kenyans.”

Noting that unity is a matter of urgency, the outgoing chairman went on to say that politicians use Kenyans’ diverse cultures, “real or imagined”, to achieve their political dreams.

“Politicians see divisions among our people as opportunities [to apply] their expedient strategies,” he said.

He also faulted Kenyans who embrace identity politics, diving themselves along ethnic lines and  viewing other groups as adversaries.

“Kenyans like adversarial approaches hence they exploit available faults for factions and warring,” Kaparo said, and warned that efforts to develop the country will be in vain if this trend persists. “All we are doing will be in vain if we do not eradicate tribalism.”

While projecting hope, however, the outgoing chair said the political rapprochement between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga has demonstrated that Kenyans can confront their challenges together.

“Though we are a quarrelsome society, it is possible to bring Kenyans together,” he said, reiterating the need for urgency.

Kaparo challenged the political class to sustain peace, noting that Uhuru and Raila helped stabilise the country.

“Let the handshake not be the lull before the storm,” he said.

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