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UoN Students give their views to Building Bridges Initiative

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University of Nairobi students gave their views to the Building Bridges Initiative, (BBI) team on Monday, July 15, 2019 at the Main Campus.

The event, which was chaired by Prof. Eliab Seroney Some, handled the weighty issues like ethnic antagonism and competition, lack of national ethos, inclusivity, devolution, divisive elections, safety and security, corruption, shared prosperity, responsibilities and human rights among others.

On ethnic antagonism, it emerged that various tribes could have developed ethnic animosity against other tribes mainly due to negative stereotypes, perceptions and non-truths being peddled especially during general elections. Students who are considered opinion leaders and change agents in the society were urged to go beyond such stereotypes. Intermarriage was encouraged as a way of dealing with ethnic animosity and inclusivity. Educating the masses on cohesion and inclusion was suggested as one of the way of dealing with the issue.

On corruption, students had radical views on ways of dealing with the corrupt individuals. They opined that Kenya could borrow a leaf from Ghana or China, where the corrupt officials are assassinated.  They blamed the slow pace of handling corruption related cases in the Judiciary. Corruption was blamed as one of the main hindrance to development and hence lack of jobs in Kenya. Students, who are part of the youth are highly affected when it comes to unemployment in the country.

Devolution was hailed as one of the major milestones that was brought about by the constitution. It has enabled development in various parts of the countr. Areas that were neglected have been able to see tarmacked roads, hospitals and schools constructed.

As far as inclusivity is concerned, it was suggested that every county should establish a cultural center, where Kenyans from all walks of life can go and celebrate the cultures of various communities. By doing so, it was agreed that it would be easier to embrace one another and reduce the ethnic tensions that arise in every election cycle. “I have been voting since 1979 and I can assure you, there is violence in every election”, said Prof. Some.

Going forward the views of the students will be presented to Building Bridges Initiative. The team will then provide the way forward on how to handle the challenges facing Kenyans.