Religious organization in peacemaking: the role of NCCK in management of electoral violence in Kenya, 2007-2008
Kenya witnessed violent post- electoral conflict in 2007-2008 periods. Violence arose out of dispute electoral outcome and it took the intervention of the third parties to settle the conflict. Among the parties involved was the National council of Churches in Kenya (NCCK) which remains among the largest faith based organization in Kenya. This study has evaluated its contribution to the management of this conflict. Data for the study have been collected using interviews and case study methodologies. Regarding Interviews, semi structured interview schedules were used and purposive sampling method was utilized in the analysis. This involved collecting of data from secondary source such as mass media, books, scholarly journal, policy papers and internet sources. The methodologies have been qualitatively analyzed and inference made against the studies objectives and hypotheses. The study has established that though religious organization have played a very important role in conflict management in Kenya, their contribution during the 2007-2008 Post electoral violent conflict was marginal. The National council of Churches in Kenya (NCCK) was severely divided, lacked the neutrality needed of track two actors, intervened when the conflict was not ripe for resolution and lacked the requisite leverage to make it an attractive mediator to the parties in conflict. On the strength of the finding the study concludes that religious organization must be neutral when managing conflict, present a united voice, adopt the methodology of settlement/resolution, and base their engagement on the right epistemological understanding of conflict and methods of management.