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NCIC Calls for Renaming of Counties with Ethnic Names

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NCIC Calls for Renaming of Counties with Ethnic Names

 

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has proposed the renaming of several counties in Kenya to eliminate ethnic connotations, citing the need to foster national unity and cohesion. The counties identified include Kisii, Meru, Tharaka-Nithi, Nandi, Turkana, Embu, Samburu, Taita Taveta, West Pokot, and Elgeyo Marakwet.

 

Speaking at a press conference, NCIC Chairperson Dr. Samuel Kobia emphasized the importance of creating a national identity that transcends ethnic boundaries. “In order to promote unity and national integration, it is crucial that we reconsider the names of these counties. Names that are ethnically inclined can contribute to division and perpetuate the notion of ethnic strongholds,” Dr. Kobia stated.

 

The NCIC’s recommendation has sparked a nationwide debate, with various stakeholders expressing divergent views. Proponents of the renaming initiative argue that it is a necessary step towards fostering a sense of inclusivity among all Kenyans. “Renaming these counties will help in building a more cohesive society where all individuals feel they belong, regardless of their ethnic background,” said Commissioner Alice Nderitu.

 

On the other hand, some local leaders and residents from the affected counties have expressed their opposition to the proposal, citing cultural heritage and historical significance tied to the current names. Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza voiced her concerns, saying, “Our county names are not just labels; they embody our history, culture, and identity. Changing them would be erasing a vital part of who we are.”

 

Despite the mixed reactions, the NCIC remains steadfast in its position, highlighting that the renaming process would involve extensive consultations with local communities and stakeholders. “This is not about erasing history, but about creating a future where every Kenyan feels part of a unified nation. We will engage with the communities to ensure that their voices are heard and respected in this process,” assured Dr. Kobia.

 

The NCIC’s proposal comes at a time when Kenya is grappling with issues of ethnic tension and division, particularly in the run-up to elections. By addressing such symbolic aspects as county names, the commission believes it can contribute to reducing ethnic tensions and promoting peace.

 

As the debate continues, the NCIC plans to hold a series of public forums and discussions to gather input from citizens across the country. These consultations will be crucial in determining the feasibility and acceptance of the proposed changes, aiming to strike a balance between preserving cultural identities and fostering national unity.

 

The outcome of this initiative could set a precedent for other measures aimed at enhancing national cohesion. For now, the NCIC’s call for renaming counties with ethnic names remains a hotly contested issue, reflecting the broader challenges of nation-building in a diverse society like Kenya.

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