Monday, 25 February 2008

Raila Odinga says that the report was malicious

Raila Odinga has taken exception to reports alleging that he went to Nigeria to ask President Umaru Yar’Adua to join the efforts to find a political settlement to the crisis in Kenya.
The Lang’ata MP said the report was "very malicious and aimed at creating disharmony in the mediation talks led by former UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan."

The talks must now assume a serious sense of urgency and conclude a political settlement within this week, mediators were told on a day Party of National Unity (PNU) threw another tantrum over the ongoing mediation.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) said it acknowledged the difficult task of brokering a deal out of the impasse but insisted it was time Kenyans were given a solution.

Pentagon member Mrs Charity Ngilu said a deal to end the crisis should be reached quickly to ease tensions.
"Kenyans voted overwhelmingly for the government of their choice and should not be denied a chance to see their dream come true," said the Kitui Central MP, adding that the proposed grand coalition should be crafted in a "just and fair manner" with ODM and PNU sharing Cabinet slots according to their parliamentary strength.

We may have a deal this Wednesday.

However, Kibaki is a stumbling block to popular reforms.What this means is that if Kibaki is allowed to have his way, it will be practically impossible to effect the substantial constitutional and economic changes that Kenyans yearn for. Moreover, one can reasonably expect that a government that is so cavalier in its approach and so inimical to issues of consensus building will bring into Parliament legislative changes that, in content, are partisan, questionable and provocative, and which will have no chance of success. After all, it seems it is Kibaki’s primary tactic to stall any reforms through feet dragging and polarisation so that he can maintain the status quo. And why not, the prevailing constitutional and legal circumstances favour the imperial presidency that Kibaki seems to so much enjoy. Reforms will only take away some of the prestige that are bestowed in the presidency yet Kibaki has shown that he is not magnanimous enough to accede to the changes that lops off some of his powers for the sake of the country’s posterity.
In the end, Kenyans are faced with a simple decision. They will either have to let Kibaki — who only has at most less than five years of political life — maintain his egotistical hard line position and be ready to witness the breakdown of the State, or in the alternative, they will have to issue a stern ultimatum to him and his lieutenants that he has to concede to the popular dictate of the times and accept a genuine and real arrangement of power sharing which will facilitate meaningful and sustainable reforms.

I am feeling weary,and anxious about the situation. I read Mohsin Ahmed's article about the Pakistan election, and how it had given him hope that one day the country can once again become his home. Pakistan managed a free and fair election, and I am envious. I am left wondering what the future of Kenya will be, and also whether it will be a future of a sad and steady decline.

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