Top- level talks augur well for
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
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.