Varsity students from both public and private institutions to be deployed in forthcoming general election to be peace envoys.
Two varsity students from each institution are expected to be influential and have a track record of successfully altering people’s minds.
Before, during, and after the election, the two students, a male and a female, will aid in mobilizing students to participate in peacebuilding and electoral processes.
Geoffrey Mbuvi, chair of the Vice Chancellors’ Committee, seconded the idea, which is intended to be implemented in universities.
Other vice chancellors present also seconded the initiative led by Paul Wainaina (Kenyatta University).
He believes that this will help to change the role of youths during the general election.
“The students will serve as voter educators in their institutions while using social media as peace champions in institutions of higher learning,” Mbuvi said.
He added that there’s a need to hold cultural and sporting activities for peace to promote cohesion in the universities and TVETs.
Universities and Colleges Students’ Peace Association of Kenya Executive director Allan Chacha said the role of youths is more than just incitement.
Chacha noted that most politicians use young people to spread violence during elections.
“We are going to do civic education, young people need to understand that their vote counts and they should not be used to cause tension,” Chacha said.
Vice chancellors recommended county-based student engagement and sensitisation forums on youth, peace, and election dubbed ’47 Days of Peace.’
University Education and Research Principal Secretary Simon Nabukwesi said peace initiatives through higher education need to be supported by sector-wide interventions that address issues of peace and conflict.
“Universities are required to initiate prompt and comprehensive strategies that have a positive influence towards harmonious coexistence,” he said.
Nabukwesi added that the support of peace education by senior management is paramount for the success of such initiatives.