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Mombasa youth intensifies peace campaigns

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[Black Joseph with other youth conducting peaceful campaigns in Mombasa. Photo/Ahmed Omar/July, 30, 2022].

As the country fast approaches the high stakes August, 9 general election, a youth group in Mombasa dubbed ‘Royal Youth Entertainment’ has launched an initiative to support young people in promoting peace.

The youth group contends that general elections need not to send shivers down the spines of the people due to the tensions and political fever that come with it.

Members of ‘Royal Youth Entertainment’ have been going around the Coastal county to spread the message of shunning election violence and instead using their influence and energy to promote good governance and better society.

The group under the leadership of Joseph Owino alias ‘Black Joseph’ says they are out to transform their local communities and actively advocate for social change so as to fulfill their civic responsibilities as citizens.

The youth group has been traversed the six Mombasa Sub counties which the authorities have tagged as election hot-spot sensitising the general public particularly the youth on the need to ensure peace before, during and after the August, 9 elections.

Police and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) have tagged the six Sub counties of Mvita, Changamwe, Jomvu, Likoni, Kisauni and Nyali as hot-spots after widespread incidences of violence in previous elections and related electoral activities.

Tactic

The group has been staging drama, poetry recitals and songs on peace in markets and other social places to educate and caution young people who unfortunately are most often used as instruments for violence during electioneering periods.

Owino, a leading peace ambassador in the Coastal city has decried that generation after generation politics of division has prevailed in the country affecting society at all levels.

“As young people we have a role to play in helping the country conduct free, fair and peaceful elections,” he said during an interview.

He said the youth vote is considered decisive but has a huge role in keeping the peace.

Owino said they are out to discourage young people from indulging in drug and substance abuse and joining criminal gangs but instead initiate activities to address socio-economic and development issues.

Levi Zia, another youth leader said the group is out to get many young people to become involved in peace building activities in a bid to uphold and promote a peaceful atmosphere during the election period.