News 2008


US backs pact with Sh1.6 billion

Published on March 7, 2008


By Martin Mutua

The United States has given the Government an additional $25 million (about Sh1.6 billion) to help in the implementation of a power-sharing deal between President Kibaki and ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga.

US Ambassador, Mr Michael Ranneberger, said his government would mobilise other countries to provide the necessary assistance to ensure success of the political settlement for the benefit of Kenyans.

Ranneberger, who spoke to The Standard in reaction to President Kibakiís address on the official opening of Parliament, hailed the speech, saying it centred on the key priorities of the coalition partners.

"That was a very good message and a way forward. I believe the matter is extremely important, that is why we have given an additional 25 million dollars support," he added.

He said he hoped the money would be used to settle displaced people, reconstruction of the country as well as on governance issues.

Ranneberger noted that the Bills that had been drafted with the aim of operationalising the deal should be passed with speed so that the coalition government can be put in place, adding that this was in the interest of Kenyans.

"Iím happy that the leaders listened to voices of Kenyans and this is the victory of the people," he added.

Asked whether the grand coalition signaled the end of checks and balances on the executive, Ranneberger said that did not worry him for now.

"Iím not worried about checks and balances as this will be taken care of in the coalition because the coalition will be out looking for the interest of the people. I am confident that there will be checks and balances carried out by the people," he added.

He said the main priority for his government was to provide political support, which means that America will offer total support to the Government and the coalition.

The envoy further noted that his government had resumed all the programmes that it had stopped in the country and that they would be offering assistance to whatever ongoing programmes they had stopped.