21st September 2022
Theme: End Racism. Build Peace.
The International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September each year. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day dedicated to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.
The 2022 international day of peace came in the aftermath of the highly contested Kenyan general elections that changed the election dynamics in the country that had for long been viewed within the prism of violence.
In the spirit of commemorating the International Day of Peace, the commission joined different counties in celebration of the same. Among the regions visited are Homecraft grounds, Eldoret, Mombasa County and Nairobi County. In Eldoret, the commemoration began with a peace walk that commenced at the governor’s’ office making its way through Eldoret town to the venue where the “End Racism. Build Peace” themed event would take place.
At that flag off event, the Uasin Gishu Govener Hon. Jonathan Bii and NCIC Commissioners Sam Kona, Hon. Abdulaziz Farah and Eng. Philip Okundi all lauded the residents of Uasin Gishu County for embracing peace before, during and after elections.
In his speech at the Homecraft Grounds in Eldoret, Commissioner Sam Kona commended the former president, Uhuru Kenyatta, for ensuring a smooth transition of the office of the president stating it was a good and commendable gesture. The NCIC Commissioner also praised the people of Uasin Gishu and Kenya at large for showing a good example to the whole world by maintaining peace after a hot contested presidential election. “It is a very important day for us as a country especially when the world had perceived Kenya through the prism of post-election violence as they remind us about the 2007/2008 case, but the resilience of the people of Kenya and their leaders demonstrated in the completed election that we can have a competitive electoral process, disagree politically, contest the results but still remain peaceful through seeking legal redress and by obeying the rule of law,” said Kona.
(NCIC: Walking for Peace at Uasin Gishu County, International Day of Peace)
On his part, Commissioner Hon. Eng. Philip Okundi lauded Kenyans for projecting an image of a matured democracy to the world, setting an example for Africa and the globe. Additionally, he insisted that the county had set a positive precedence, and there was no looking back henceforth.
The colorful event which was characterized by activities such as planting trees for peace, peace songs and release of doves, was climaxed by awarding of certificates and medals for peace champions, for their role in advocating for peace within their communities.
The Commission’s Chairman, Rev.Dr. Samuel Kobia celebrated the day in Mombasa County where he rewarded peace and cohesion ambassadors.
(The Chairman and Mombasa County Governor awarding Peace ambassadors.)
The CEO Dr. Skitter celebrated the day at the Daystar University in Nairobi with other delegates. The Global Peace Foundation of Kenya in conjunction with NCIC, Standard Group, The Chandaria Foundation, Global Peace and Development Service Alliance, Mkenya Daima, and Zoros Cool were among the organizers at the International Day of Peace celebrations at the Daystar University sub-themed “A redeemed country after a Peaceful election” on 21st September 2022. The Commission Secretary discussed ethnic polarization and its impacts on accountability. She emphasized the importance of holding county government’s accountable and ensuring ethnic inclusion of minority groups while offering employment opportunities. She attributed the peaceful election the country had to the work NCIC and its partners did to ensure the country remained peaceful before, during, and after the general election.
(The Commission’s CEO Dr. Skitter at Daystar University, Nairobi.)
The commission also celebrated the International Day of Peace Golf Tournament at the Kenya Railway Golf Club in Nairobi on the 21st of September, 2022. The two-day event which was a first of its kind intended to bring together various golf players around the country to commemorate the special day and talk matters peace. The tournament was graced Sports activities have been used throughout the years to bring people together through peaceful interactions while engaging in different games such as golf tournaments, and indeed this tournament was not different as there was peace and unity throughout.
(Comm Sam Kona flagging off the Golf Tournament at KRGC)
The tournament which attracted high profile players brought out Kenya’s Rugby legend Collins Injera, national golf pros Njuguna Ngugi, Felix George, Kevin Mabele, Samuel Njoroge and NCIC’s Golf masters Dr. Harrison and Commission Sam Kona who was the keynote speaker at the event. The commissioner gave an overview of the commission’s mandate and where the commission is currently at in matters of peace and cohesion.
In his keynote speech, the Commissioner emphasized that as an institution mandated with peacebuilding, NCIC acknowledges that sports is a unifying factor and has a way of speaking to the Community. The Commissioner also described golf as a sport that unites nations, cultures and people of all races, colors, abilities and beliefs hence becoming and belonging to a team enhances connection between players and teams and the society as a whole.
Indeed, the International Day of Peace, 2022 was largely celebrated by the Commission and the whole of Kenya.