Friday, October 10, 2008



The Standard
Nairobi, Kenya
October 10, 2008

By Standard Team

The Motion seeking to determine the legality of President Kibaki’s tenure has elicited sharp reactions.

Party of National Unity top guns said they would oppose the Motion should it come before the House.

Cabinet Minister Noah Wekesa and PNU spokesman George Nyamweya said their party was concerned with attempts by some ODM MPs to return the country to the acrimonious period over the disputed presidential election results.

"This country wants to move forward. Who won or lost was dealt with adequately when we, as Kenyans, with the support of foreign missions, opted for a coalition government," said Wekesa.

LSK Chairman Okong’o Omogeni advised Webuye MP Alfred Sambu (ODM) to drop the Motion and join other Kenyans in reconstruction.

"The country needs healing and not avenues through which old wounds would be opened," said Mr Omogeni.

But yesterday, Sambu said he would not drop the Motion challenging the legitimacy of President Kibaki’s election.

Sambu said he had received a lot of support from MPs and Kenyans, who encouraged him to proceed with the Motion to the floor of the House.

"Let us respect the Constitution and the laws we pass in Parliament. We must determine a winner, who got valid votes," Sambu said.

He also confirmed ODM Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o has proposed some amendments, but that did not in any way change the crux and the spirit of the Motion.

"I have presented the Motion to the Clerk of the National Assembly as required by procedure and we hope the House Business Committee will line it up for debate," Sambu said.

Bonchari MP Charles Onyancha (ODM) said the country was now more interested in getting a new constitution to avoid a recurrence of last year’s election mess.

"Kenyans want to move on in nation building, which we will only achieve by first remaining united and focused through a new constitution as promised by the Government," said Onyancha.

"As MPs we should help Kenyans re-unite, sort out the plight of IDPs, who found themselves homeless because of the bungled elections and put in place good legislation to avoid recurrence, but not use the House to dig into the past," urged Onyancha.

Nyamweya read mischief in Sambu’s notice of Motion, wondering what the Webuye MP wanted to achieve.

The nominated MP said no MP will want to face the electorate so soon if the entire election was in anyway declared a nullity.

"The country and the MPs themselves are not ready to face an election no matter who won. The most important thing now is to work with the Grand Coalition Government as we plan for a better exercise in future," said Nyamweya.

Wekesa said Sambu should focus on serving his constituents and prepare himself for the 2012 General Election instead of taking the country backwards.

"He (Sambu) should serve his electorate and let Kibaki and the PM, who have no problem working together, to carry on their constitutional mandate," Wekesa said.

He said he was confident the Motion would be defeated when tabled in Parliament.

Sambu has insisted there was no president declared in accordance with the Constitution and that there is need for a fresh presidential election.

While presenting his report to the Chairman of the Eminent African Personalities, Dr Kofi Annan, the chairman of the Independent Review Commission Justice Johann Kriegler said no body would ever establish who won the presidential contest, last year.

Sambu says the Motion will try to find out whether in supervising the hasty swearing-in, the Chief Justice Evan Gicheru acted illegally.

Sambu said he is seeking the House Speaker’s indulgence and that of the House Business Committee to have the Private Member’s Motion lined up for debate.

Assistant Minister Mwangi Kiunjuri asked MPs to focus on development instead of concentrating on evoking "populist emotions".