Wednesday, March 25, 2009



March 24,2009


The Party of National Unity (PNU) has filed a key instrument of the Kenya coalition, effectively blocking the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party from seeking fresh negotiations of the National Accord.

Nairobi Metropolitan minister Mutula Kilonzo, acting on behalf of PNU deposited the National Accord with the Registrar of Political Parties on Tuesday to formalise the status of partners in the coalition.

It now means that any dispute on the accord will be resolved by a tribunal formed by the registrar rather than renegotiations chaired by Mr Kofi Annan, which is being pushed by ODM.

The party will now be required to file a complaint with the registrar who will refer the matter to the yet to be formed Political Parties Disputes Tribunal. The tribunal is expected to resolve any dispute in not more than three months from the date it is lodged.

However, in a swift rejoinder, ODM secretary-general Anyang’ Nyong’o said the party was not consulted over the issue. He said courtesy demanded that ODM be involved in deciding and filing the instruments.

He said politics was not decided by filing of documents in offices.
Mr Kilonzo’s move followed a meeting of PNU’s ministers in the 12 member Permanent Committee on the Management of the Grand Coalition, which resolved to stop any plans by ODM to renegotiate the deal.

The management team, which has six members from each side including President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, was formed to deal with the affairs of the coalition and ensure it worked in harmony.

It was formed immediately ODM leaders called for the renegotiation of the National Accord arguing that they had been short-changed in the running of the government.

In his letter to the registrar, Mr Kilonzo said: “I write on behalf of the PNU coalition forwarding herewith, under Section 13 of the Political Parties Act, the instruments of the coalition between PNU and ODM dated February 28, 2008.”

The letter is copied to both President Kibaki and Mr Odinga and Prof Nyong’o.

Section 13 of the Political Parties Act states that where two or more political parties resolve to form a coalition before or after an election, the instruments of the coalition agreement shall be deposited with the registrar for the purpose of arbitration between the coalition parties.
PNU’s move effectively blocks ODM’s demands that Mr Annan, the chief mediator, oversees the renegotiation of the accord.

On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula said: “Our position is clear; you cannot renegotiate a law. There is nothing to warrant going to that direction.”

The instruments of agreement between PNU and ODM give a brief history of the violence that rocked the country after the 2007 General Election as reason for the formation of the coalition.

It also states the provisions of the National Accord Act, composition of the Cabinet, the functions of the Prime Minister and how the coalition can be dissolved.