Saturday, 8 March 2008

Raila a step away from being Prime Minister

The process to making Mr Raila Odinga the Prime Minister was fast-tracked to the penultimate stage, with the publication of the Bills to be debated in Parliament.
As the process went on, Raila, who has already started enjoying the trappings of power that go with the position continued to play the role on Friday as he toured Kibera.
In Kibera, which was among the worst hit Nairobi estates in the election violence, Raila preached peace and told displaced persons to return to their houses.

It is expected that when the Tenth Parliament resumes on Tuesday for its first regular sitting, the House could be asked to waive the tradition of giving priority to debate the presidential speech and allow for the Bill to sail through the first reading.
Parliament may borrow from the happenings of 1975 when founding President Jomo Kenyatta changed the Constitution in a day, going through the three stages. On the third day it was given presidential assent.
The amendment Bill was published on December 9. It was tabled on December 10. It passed all the three stages of debate that afternoon. On December 11, it received presidential assent and was immediately backdated to January 1, 1975.
Ugenya MP, Mr James Orengo, who spoke earlier this week, said that after the PNU and ODM parliamentary group meetings agreed to fast track the Bills without subjecting them to the routine debate, parliamentary formality can be priority and have them passed within a day.
On Thursday night, when he appeared on KTN’s Newsline, the Prime Minister designate said the new-look Cabinet, which he is to head under the new role, will be unveiled after entrenchment into the statutes of the power-sharing pact.
Raila, in the Newsline interview, said the House Business Committee would be constituted on Tuesday next week, which will allocate time for the Bills to be debated.

Raila on Friday embarked on what would be the first peace mission representing the Government as he toured Lang’ata Constituency and told the displaced to return to their houses.
In a motorcade secured by State agents and a public address system the Ministry of Information supplied, he held three rallies in the Kibera slums.
Raila, accompanied by veteran politician Mr Martin Shikuku, former Makadara MP Mr Reuben Ndolo and his son Fidel, preached peaceful and national reconciliation.
"We want to begin working for the nation and its citizens. The era of mass action and violence is over and all displaced person can now return home," Raila said, after Kibera DO Mr Kepher Maruge, received him.

One of the issues the National Dialogue and Reconciliation team is tackling under Agenda Four is to ensure the violence fermented by ethnic hatred experienced after the announcement of the presidential poll results on December 30, would never recur.
Agenda Four also covers the objective and purpose of the Grand Coalition government. The issues being addressed include the resetting of the more than 500,000 displaced people and ensuring sustainable peace, security and justice and the comprehensive review of the Constitution.
The National Dialogue and Reconciliation team is expected to address historical injustices that include unfair land distribution, State sanctioned land "grabbing" and unequal share of the national cake, where development, employment and education among other issues are concerned.
Past cases of impunity are also to be dealt with.
This would include cases of grand corruption and formation of terror gangs by politicians. There is also the issue of irresponsible speeches and actions deemed as inciting, which led to clashes among Kenyans.
The team is also tasked with establishment of a truth, peace, justice, and reconciliation commission within three months. This outfit is to secure national healing and reconciliation following the post-election skirmishes. This would target victims and perpetrators of ethnic and political violence that rocked the country for more than two months.
The toughest assignment the team must undertake is the comprehensive review of the Constitution. This will chart the country's future path after the end of the Grand Coalition Government. A new Constitution is expected to be in place in 12 months.
This will have ended a journey that Kenyans began more than 12 years ago.

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