News 2008


First Kenya meeting since deal


Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister designate Raila Odinga are holding their first meeting since they signed a deal to share power.

Mr Odinga has hinted that MPs from the two parties will have a joint meeting before parliament convenes on Thursday.

Meanwhile, a special police unit is cracking down on raiders who killed 12 villagers and torched houses in west Kenya at the weekend.

The dispute over land in Mt Elgon area has lasted for a year.

Local Administrator, Francis Mutie said the newly set up unit is tracking members of the Sabaot Land Defence Forces (SLDF) responsible for the attack in Mt Elgon on Sunday.

"The government is determined to end the menace once and for all and we urge the residents to volunteer information that will aid this operation," Mr Mutie said.

The BBC's Wanyama Chebusiri in Mt Elgon says tension is high and residents have fled Embakasi village which was attacked on Sunday.

Our correspondent says the residents blame the security forces for failing to act whenever information of impending attacks is volunteered.

Land disputes are one of the issues being tackled in talks between the government and the opposition which resumed on Monday under the supervision of former Nigerian Foreign Minister Oluyemi Adeniji as the new chief mediator.

Parliament convenes on Thursday to tackle the first business which will be to enact the power sharing deal into law.

Under the deal, President Kibaki's Party of National Unity (PNU) and Mr Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will share cabinet positions according to their party strengths in parliament.

Legal teams from both sides, together with the Attorney General Amos Wako are currently drafting the Bill that will entrench the power sharing agreement into the constitution.