Sunday, 24 February 2008

Waiting for a deal in Kenya

A deal ending the impasse could be announced mid this week, if the parties agree on the sole divisive issue remaining at the talks chaired by former United Nations Secretary General Dr Kofi Annan.
If the two parties agree on Monday or on Tuesday, the fate of the country will remain in the hands of President Mwai Kibaki and ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga.

President Kibaki and his PNU brigade seem to be borrowing from Chinese war strategist, Sun Tzu, to navigate through the current crisis.
Tzu, a decorated military general and one of the great Chinese thinkers of ancient times, says if you have an upper hand over an opponent, you must crush them totally. You must have no mercy; you must give them nothing to negotiate, no hope, and no room for manoeuvre.
By default or design, PNU is in the driver’s seat and is increasingly making it difficult for Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) to gain political ground.
Even as ODM politicians maintain Kibaki stole Raila Odinga’s victory, the ODM leader is vulnerable as hardline PNU tightens the noose. The party has placed a host of hurdles in the way and does not appear to be in a hurry to conclude the former United Nations Secretary-General Dr Kofi Annan-led negotiations.
But the rival ODM has apparently lived up to the grand law of physics; "To every action there is always an opposing reaction of equal measure". Indeed, it is because of these tough positions that the current political stalemate is yet to be unlocked.

Outside the negotiation room, "learned friends" are espousing the PNU agenda. Garsen MP, Mr Danson Mungatana, leads the hardliners.
He told The Sunday Standard that there was no way the party would allow ODM to walk away with executive premiership. He says Section 23 of the Constitution, vests executive powers only in the presidency. But he forgets this presidency is disputed.
Although President Kibaki and the PNU brigade have amplified this position, there has been a remarkable climb down by the party’s negotiating team.

I continue to hope for the best and expect the worst.

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