Tuesday, October 14, 2008



OCTOBER 14 2008

Is there need for a Parliamentary Committee to determine if President Kibaki is in office legally? Webuye MP Alfred Sambu is asking Parliament to establish a team to determine if President Kibaki is in office legally, after an election where a commission of inquiry has concluded it was impossible to tell the winner. Stephen Makabila spoke to Dr Noah Wekesa and Mr Sambu.


QUESTION: What do you intend to achieve with the Motion questioning Kibaki’s legitimacy as President?

ANSWER: You know in any presidential election there must be a winner who must have majority valid votes and lead with more than 25 per cent in at least five provinces. But the manner in which Kibaki was declared the winner in the last General Election was erratic. The ECK Chairman announced Kibaki the winner, and then later said he did not know who won. The Kriegler report says there is no known Presidential winner and the question we ask ourselves is, what next? We have to protect the Constitution and we cannot bury our heads in the sand.

QUESTION: PNU says it could lead to more chaos. What do you think?

ANSWER: If we want to bury the truth because we are avoiding chaos, then we may be courting even worse chaos in future. The plain truth is that there was no winner of the presidential contest and we cannot avoid this truth in any way.

QUESTION: Some say the country is moving along well after the power sharing. What will knowing the winner change?

ANSWER: If we do what I am asking for, it will mean we have respected our Constitution and that is all I am after. It’s the cause of my initiative.

QUESTION: Do you consider yourself as bent on opening old, healing wounds?

ANSWER: I am trying to remove a terrible stigma from our lives. There are those who say their leadership was stolen while others say there was no winner. I am not opening old wounds. Let us, as a country, avoid living with stigma as we move forward.

QUESTION: How much support can this Bill garner in Parliament?

ANSWER: The Motion is touching on our Constitution and MPs are elected to protect the Constitution. If they see it in that light, they will support it. There are those who have called me to express their support.

QUESTION: You are from ODM. Do you see MPs from the other side supporting it?

ANSWER: MPs from both ODM and PNU will support it. Some have already told me I can count on their support.

QUESTION: What happens if Parliament establishes that Kibaki is not legitimately in office?

ANSWER: The verdict was already given by the Kriegler report. There was no Presidential winner and it is up to Kenyans to decide.

Why this Motion now, when you have been in Parliament for almost a year?

ANSWER: The Motion is based on the Kriegler report, which was only released a few weeks back and which stated clearly that there was no known presidential winner. I am simply acting on the basis of that report.


QUESTION: Why are you angry about a proposal seeking to establish who won the elections?

ANSWER: Kenya experienced the worst violence since independence following last December’s disputed Presidential election. Many innocent people lost their lives and thousands were displaced. It took the hand of the international community to bring President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga together to sign the National Accord. What we went through is not something to forget easily and now that we have a stable government, we should not re-open wounds.

QUESTION: Can anything good come out of the Motion questioning Kibaki’s legitimacy as President?

ANSWER: Absolutely nothing good can come out of it. It’s only meant to rekindle agonies people went through during post-election violence.

QUESTION: Mr Sambu says he wants to establish the truth. PNU says it could cause chaos. Why should establishing the truth cause chaos?

ANSWER: Truth cannot be established as the Kriegler report released recently indicated. I do not think the Kriegler Commission could have morally ignored the truth.

QUESTION: Some say the country is moving along well after the power sharing and it no longer matters who won. Is that a good way to reason?

ANSWER: Exactly the right way to reason. It’s time to move on. Ten months after the election violence, it does not help to know who won. We have a coalition government that is working well and we will have coalitions in future. Kenya will never go back to a one party government in the next 20 years.

QUESTION: Does seeking to know who won amount to opening old wounds?

ANSWER: It does. Some politicians do not know the intensity of the violence we experienced because their areas were not affected. Those of us who come from regions that experienced the violence know exactly what it means to revisit the matter. Our people died, property destroyed and many others displaced. It’s a scenario that should not recur.

QUESTION: How much support can this Bill garner in Parliament?

ANSWER: Both ODM and PNU MPs will shoot it down. I am sure no caring MP who has the interest of this country at heart can support the Bill, irrespective of his or her party.

QUESTION: What do you read in the timing of the notice of Motion? It is almost a year since elections were held.

ANSWER: I personally read malice in Sambu bringing the Motion to Parliament at this time because such a Motion is not a priority for this country. We have more urgent matters like the constitution review and economic reconstruction. Sambu should help his Webuye constituents in matters of development and address the financial problems at Pan-Paper Mills.