Thursday, May 14, 2009




If Raila and ODM are real visionary, they should see an opportunity to demand fairness for the people of Kenya.

The power sharing deal has never been real neither has the governance and its appointments. I would demand real power sharing and the abolition of all the districts created without proper consultations by the governing partner. Anything that has been done in disregard of the agreement should be declared null and void or else there is no more cooperation. If they cannot demand this now, they are only postponing a worse crisis that will soon arise again. Does it help to pretend that by ignoring it and letting it pass it will be fine? I do not think so. The country is being auctioned at an alarming rate and the grabbers are in a haste as if they nor their children have no tomorrow.

Following is a report on President Obama’s warning to Kibaki and Raila:

"US President Barack Obama has issued a stern warning to President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to lower the political tension and ensure none of them goes against the spirit of the National Accord as crafted by former UN chief Kofi Annan.

In a strongly worded statement relayed through new US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson, President Obama raised concern over the stability of the Grand Coalition following recent bickering and competition for important positions in Government. "The US is ready to take necessary steps should the coalition fail to implement the Annan agreement," said Mr Carson.

Without mincing words, he said: "We came here to warn a friend about our concerns. We feel the country’s stability is paramount to the region. The US is a strong partner and is ready to exercise some degree of muscle. But we will see in the coming weeks what Kenyans can do for themselves."

Carson made the remarks at US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger’s Nairobi residence yesterday, where he was with African Nations Security Council Senior Director Michelle Gavin.

On her part, Ms Gavin said: "Obama has a deep fondness for this country for he recognises its potential for the horn of Africa’s stability."

She added that White House was concerned about the progress of reforms and urged Kenyan leaders to show their commitment and implement Agenda Four.

New capacity

Carson, a former US ambassador to Kenya, is on his first trip outside Washington in his new capacity as US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and Kenya is a second stop after South Africa where he attended the swearing in of Mr Jacob Zuma as president.

Since the signing of the peace accord, the coalition Government has been rocked by corruption and infighting between PNU and ODM.

He said political tension could be a prelude to worse violence than was experienced after the 2007 General Election.

"Political tension must not be allowed to turn into a crisis since it is not in the interest of the Kenyan people, the Horn of Africa and the world at large," Carson said.

He warned that Kenya risks being drawn to civil war unless leaders agree to work together, adding that prevention was critical as political tension could bubble over and turn into violence as witnessed in Somalia.

He said he had met President Kibaki, Raila, Deputy PM and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and conveyed President Obama’s message — that reforms must go ahead and the Annan agreement implemented to the letter.

Carson said: "We were received very warmly by PNU and ODM leaders and discussions were candid and forthright. We talked about corruption, reforms in the police force and the Judiciary, and violated civil liberties for Kenyans."

Failed to agree

He added: "All the officials we talked to gave strong indications that they were determined to make sure the reforms go through."

The Obama administration’s high profile emissary comes days after Speaker Kenneth Marende made a historic ruling after political parties in the coalition failed to agree on who should be the Leader of Government Business in the House.

During an earlier meeting with the PM at his Treasury office, Carson and Gavin expressed "deep concerns" about the management of the Grand Coalition Government.

Carson is said to have expressed Washington’s concerns about the implementation of the National Accord.

However, Raila assured the officials that the coalition was putting in place institutions that would deliver in constitutional, police and judicial reforms in about a year.

Raila said in the next three months, the taskforce on police reforms would table its proposals, and they would be implemented immediately.

Raila said the Government plans to return the Special Tribunal Bill to the House in the next two months to determine whether post-election violence suspects will be tried locally or at The Hague.

Enormous concerns

But Carson told Raila that there are "enormous concerns" in Washington that the coalition appeared lethargic and that the accord was not being implemented fully, adding that even the partial implementation of the Accord was too slow.

"Washington’s fear is that failure to implement the Accord could undermine political stability," Carson said.

He said the US was also concerned about extra-judicial killings and impunity.

He asked the Government to implement critical reforms that would ensure the country does not experience violence.

Saying Raila has a long history of fighting for democracy and going to jail for his beliefs, Carson asked him to stand up for Kenyans.

"This cannot be the democracy you fought for when people are killed by the State. It cannot be what you went to detention for. All the things you fought for are being thrown into jeopardy by State operatives who order execution of citizens," Carson is said to have told the PM.

He said Washington would take stern action against people seen to be standing on the way to justice for Kenyans and those frustrating the implementation of the Accord.

Gavin said she discussed Kenya with President Barrack last Friday, adding that he is "very concerned about the situation in Kenya".

The two officials said Obama is keen on reforms that would address past injustices they believe were the causes of election violence.

Raila, in response, said work to address past injustices had begun.

"Not many people knew that there existed another Kenya. The peace that we were known for was largely a facade, built on sand. Tension always lingered underneath because a lot of past injustices had not been addressed," the PM said.