News 2008


Top- level talks augur well for Kenya

Daily Nation


Publication Date: 3/5/2008

President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga on Monday met and set up a team of six to draw up plans for implementing the grand coalition deal they signed last week. The meeting was significant in several ways.

For one, it was held without external mediators and away from the scheming hard-liners on both sides, who had created barriers to any peaceful resolution of the political stalemate.

This underscored the fact that the two leaders were ready to take charge and give shape to the countryís political direction.

Though Kenyans and the world at large were upbeat about the deal brokered last week, there are those who think that their principals gave away too much, and that they are likely to lose in the new scheme of things.

Secondly, the meeting is a clear demonstration that the two principals are committed to the peace agreement and are ready to roll it out quickly.

There is some urgency in actualising the agreement. The public needs signs that indicate things will work. Moreover, nature abhors vacuum. Waiting for too long to start the implementation process does not augur well for the nationís well-being.

More important, the two have a history of mistrust in view of the unfulfilled 2002 MoU.

Too often, Kenyans are reminded that the first attempt at crafting a long-lasting political cohabitation came a cropper due to competing interests.

While commending the two leaders for showing statesmanship in recent times, we must continue cautioning that the tough journey is yet to start.

Coming from different political and ideological backgrounds, and having just been brought together by outside pressure, the two leaders and their followers must be ready at all times to cast aside what may tear them apart, and put a premium on all that they have in common.

We believe that what will follow on Tuesday as parliamentary party groups meet and Thursday, when Parliament resumes, will give impetus to the implementation of the accord.