Tackling Agenda Four
March 8, 2008
By Athman Amran
After the departure of former United Nations secretary-general, Mr
Kofi Annan, the National Dialogue and Reconciliation team now
faces the tedious task of finding long-term solutions to a host of
problems responsible for the periodic violence in Kenya,
especially at election time.
During his stay in which he helped the country strike a peace
deal, Annan said there was need for fundamental changes to key
institutions to prevent future violence.
"We cannot accept that periodically, every five years or so, this
sort of incident takes place and no one is held to account.
Impunity cannot be allowed to stand," he said in Nairobi.
One of the issues the National Dialogue and Reconciliation team is
tackling under Agenda Four is to ensure the violence fermented by
ethnic hatred experienced after the announcement of the
presidential poll results on December 30, would never recur.
Nigerian diplomat, Prof Oluyemi Adeniji, who replaced Annan in the
mediation talks, heads the National Dialogue team, comprising ODM
and PNU/Government members.
The PNU team has Justice minister, Ms Martha Karua, Foreign
Affairs minister, Mr Moses Wetangula and Mbooni MP, Mr Mutula
Kilonzo. On the ODM side are Pentagon members Mr Musalia Mudavadi
and Mr William Ruto, Aldai MP, Ms Sally Kosgei and Ugenya MP, Mr
Annan took the talks to the third and crucial political settlement
stage, where President Mwai Kibaki and ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga,
signed a power sharing deal last week.
Agenda Four also covers the objective and purpose of the Grand
Coalition government. The issues being addressed include the
resetting of the more than 500,000 displaced people and ensuring
sustainable peace, security and justice and the comprehensive
review of the Constitution.
The National Dialogue and Reconciliation team is expected to
address historical injustices that include unfair land
distribution, State sanctioned land "grabbing" and unequal share
of the national cake, where development, employment and education
among other issues are concerned.
Past cases of impunity are also to be dealt with.
This would include cases of grand corruption and formation of
terror gangs by politicians. There is also the issue of
irresponsible speeches and actions deemed as inciting, which led
to clashes among Kenyans.
The team is also tasked with establishment of a truth, peace,
justice, and reconciliation commission within three months. This
outfit is to secure national healing and reconciliation following
the post-election skirmishes. This would target victims and
perpetrators of ethnic and political violence that rocked the
country for more than two months.
The toughest assignment the team must undertake is the
comprehensive review of the Constitution. This will chart the
country’s future path after the end of the Grand Coalition
Government. A new Constitution is expected to be in place in 12
This will have ended a journey that Kenyans began more than 12
There has been clamour for a new Constitution after the repeal of
Section 2 A of the current constitution under retired President
Moi’s government, which returned the country to multi-party
politics in 1992.
When the Narc Government came to power after defeating Kanu in the
historic 2002 General Election, it promised Kenyans a new
Constitution within 100 days.
This was never to be as a new clique of leadership around
President Kibaki rejected the Bomas Draft, because it would have
given Raila the position of executive Premier.
The clique around President Kibaki came up with the "Wako" Draft,
which was defeated at the referendum in 2005 by the Orange group
led by Raila’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Uhuru Kenyatta’s
The comprehensive review of the Constitution would still have to
revisit the issue of the executive Prime Minister and devolution
among other thorny issues.
Corruption is another thorny issue being addressed under Agenda
Four. This would be through the establishment of "effective
policies and programmes".
The judicial system and the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission have
largely been seen as ineffective in tackling corruption. They are
yet to convict suspects in gigantic financial scams like
Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing.
Poverty is another issue the new Government is expected to tackle.
The Narc government’s dream of creating 500,000 jobs annually
turned into a nightmare when it not only failed to create such
jobs but also succeeded in making the rich richer and the poor
poorer. Prices of essential items like maize flour, sugar and
paraffin skyrocketed, beyond the reach of the common mwananchi.
Further, the Grand Coalition Government is also expected, within
six months, to establish an independent police commission and
reconstitute the electoral commission to make it answerable to
Within the next 12 months, the new government is also expected to
ensure an independent Judiciary and Parliament. It is expected to
strengthen the overseer role of Parliament.
The Government is also to resettle the displaced people and
reconstruct urban and rural areas destroyed during the violence
The power sharing deal between Kibaki and Raila that Annan
fostered, could be entrenched in the Constitution next week.
This is after the Government published two of the proposed Bills
under the proposed National Accord and Reconciliation Act last
Thursday. This would kick-start the whole process and usher in a
new era in Kenya.
The National Accord and Reconciliation Bill and the Constitution
of Kenya (Amendment) Bill seek to amend the Constitution to cater
for the position of Prime Minister and two deputies.
The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill stipulates that the
leader whose party has majority MPs in Parliament will become
Prime Minister. This automatically makes Raila the new Prime
Minister, with all the trappings that go with the position.
PNU and ODM will each bag the position of deputy Prime Minister.
According to section 6 (3) of the National Accord and
Reconciliation Act 2008 draft, the Prime Minister will coordinate
and supervise the execution of the functions and the affairs of
This would include those of ministries and Government departments.
The Prime Minister would also coordinate the reform agenda of the
new government and be the leader of Government business in
The National Accord and Reconciliation Act’s first step would be
to entrench the Grand Coalition Government comprising ODM and PNU
as distinct political parties.
The Grand Coalition Government establishes ODM and PNU as equal
partners according to section 3 (1) of a draft prepared by the
Legal Working Group on Governance.
The Act stipulates that in the grand coalition Government, the
leaders of the political partners would be responsible for the
nomination of appointees to ministerial and assistant ministerial
There would also be an equal representation in the government
between the coalition partners, which would take into account the
principle of portfolio balance.