Elderhood in ethnic conflict management in Rongai, Nakuru County, Kenya; 1992-2015
Cherutich, Simon Kipyegon
MetadataShow full item record
This study investigated elderhood in ethnic conflict management in Kenya‟s Rongai Sub-county from 1992 to 2015. It is to be appreciated that ethnic conflict management results in peace which in turn creates a fertile environment for achievement of sustainable development. Western and contemporary conflict resolution mechanisms, which have been in use for decades, have not yielded the desired results and rather than solely relying on their legal and lengthy judicial processes, indigenous mechanisms have been sought. One such mechanism is the institution of elders which has become instrumental in addressing the prevailing challenges of ethnic based violence. This study specifically investigated the nature, origin and causes of ethnic conflicts, examined the institution of elderhood, and interrogated the roles of elders in ethnic conflicts management in Rongai Sub-county. The study was based on the following premises: Land was the major cause of ethnic conflicts in Rongai Sub-county, elderhood institutions commanded respect among majority of ethnic groups in Rongai Sub-county and that the institution of elders played a significant role in ethnic conflict management in Rongai Sub-county. The study was guided by Protracted Social Conflict Theory and Conflict Transformation Theory. The study adopted descriptive research design. The target population was the people of Rongai Sub-county. The sample size was obtained using purposive and snowballing sampling techniques. Both primary and secondary data was collected. The primary data was collected using in-depth interviews and focus group discussions while secondary data was obtained from both published and unpublished records, magazines and books. The data collected was analyzed using thematic analysis where categories of responses for each objective from the respondents were identified, classified and combined into themes. The data was then interpreted and presented based on these categories and themes. This study has three major findings. First, the ethnic conflicts in Rongai Sub-county were mainly of violent nature, originated from the reintroduction of multi-party politics in Kenya in early 1990s and were caused mainly by land and political issues. Secondly, the institution of elderhood was strong in Rongai Sub-county and commanded respect in the management of ethnic conflicts. Thirdly, the elders were the lead actors in ethnic conflicts management in Rongai Sub-county and played key roles that were aimed at achieving peaceful co-existence among ethnic groups. The study, therefore, recommends that the institution of elderhood be supported by the government and given a leading role in ethnic conflicts management. Secondly, the underlying cause of ethnic conflicts be identified and resolved proactively. Thirdly, ways should be found to weed out the culture of intolerance and impunity among ethnic communities in Rongai Sub-county.