News 2008


MPs* defend the President against rigging allegations (*many from constituencies, where the election results didn't come forward in time!)

February 11, 2008


By Moses Njagi

More than 35 MPs have dismissed as "baseless and manifestly ill-founded" ODMís claims that President Kibaki stole the presidential election.

The legislators, who were holding a retreat at Nyeriís Green Hills Hotel, came strongly to Kibakiís defence, saying the Head of State had won fairly.

The MPs drawn from Central Province, parts of Eastern, Rift Valley and Nairobi defended Kibaki as the legitimate President and called for re-tallying of the votes.

"There is no doubt that President Kibaki won the elections fair and square and those challenging his legitimacy in office are engaging in baseless and ill-informed claims," said the MPs in a joint statement read by the forumís secretary, Ms Esther Murungi, who is also the Nyeri Town MP.

"We are demanding a re-count of the presidential votes to place this matter to rest," they added.

The MPs, however, said they were in full support of the Annan-led mediation talks, which brings together the Government and the Opposition teams.

"We are in full support of the Annan team and ready to accord it the respect it deserves in efforts to end the political crisis," they said.

The MPs dismissed as speculation talks that the mediating teams had agreed on power sharing between the President and ODM. "We do not want to engage in speculations, which the media have created, since even the leader of the mediation talks, Mr Kofi Annan, has warned against such talks," said the Central Kenya Forum chairman, Mr Ephraim Maina.

Maina said the leaders held Ďhealthyí discussions on ways of promoting peace and enhancing reconciliation among Kenyans.

They welcomed calls for the formation of a Justice and Reconciliation Committee, but called for investigation to bring to justice those behind the ethnic killings witnessed after the General Election.

"Those behind the killings and evictions in the post-election violence must be arrested and brought to justice," they said.

The MPs also said the historical injustices on land ownership, brought about by the former colonial masters, must be addressed for peace to prevail.

"There cannot be peace unless this land issue is addressed. The historical injustices brought about by the British colony must be rectified," they said.

The legislators asked the Government to ensure all displaced people were resettled.

They said they had resolved to hold joint rallies and mobilise Kenyans to embrace one another irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds.

"We are even calling on members of other communities who left the Central Kenya region to return and continue with their work," they said.