Religious Leaders Call For Peace Talks As Kenya Red Cross Hold Review Meeting


By Isabella Maua

Mt. Elgon Sub County residents have been advised to seek counseling and mediation services to resolve civil disputes instead of engaging in violence. 

Speaking during an interdenominational religious leaders meeting held by Kenya Red Cross Bungoma at Kapsokwony on Thursday, Rev. Tobias Chemining’wa from Kipsigon observed that for a long time the region has been notoriously reporting death cases caused by either domestic violence or assault, which could otherwise have been avoided by amicable talks.

“It is heartbreaking that Mt. Elgon has increased cases of people killing family members and neighbors because of mere misunderstandings, which trained pastors and counselors can handle at the earliest report,” said Chemining’wa.


However, alcoholism and poor communication among couples have been attributed to gender-based violence and  defilement cases where innocent children have fallen victim to these circumstances.

“We have spoken and we still speak to our congregation regarding harmonious living and closeness to their children, but indulgence in drug and substance abuse has led to many women abandoning their families because of neglect from their husbands,” reported Rev. Rahab Nkirote.


Dr. Shikuku Kwenyi, Reproductive Health Officer at Mt. Elgon Sub County Hospital, advised that parents should be close to their children regardless of their gender because, in the current society, the boy child is at as much risk of defilement as the girl child.

“We’re in a community where reporting cases of defilement, especially incest and intimate partner violence, is considered taboo; this should not be the case anymore. Our women should be enlightened, and fathers should also be observant of their children and report any abnormalities for examination as soon as possible,” advised Dr. Kwenyi.

Mt. Elgon Sub County acting Deputy County Commissioner Josephat Kipyator, on his part, encouraged the religious leaders to cease any opportunities during public barazas to talk to wananchi regarding gender-based violence.

“It is obvious that the time you have set aside during or after church service is not enough to reach as many people as needed, so feel free to take some time during any public forums we hold in the villages to preach peace and enlighten our community on GBV,” he reiterated.


Margaret Wanyonyi, Western Region Coordinator, Kenya Red Cross, emphasized the need for the eradication of kangaroo courts and supported the request of clergy visiting schools to talk to pupils and students about gender-based violence.

“We have previously worked with schools at Kopsiro and Cheptais where GBV and defilement cases have soared and the results were remarkable. With our collaborative working relationship with the education department and administration, we shall introduce such programs across the subcounty,” affirmed Wanyonyi.

The clergy were also advised to register orphaned children so that they can benefit from scholarships and other educational programs instead of remaining at home and eventually succumbing to early marriages, defilement, sodomy, and molestation.

The meeting included religious leaders’ representatives across Mt. Elgon Sub County and was also supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Finland. 

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