News 2008


Politicians Urged to Avoid Derailing Talks

The Nation (Nairobi)

12 February 2008

Caroline Wafula


Two ODM members of Parliament have asked politicians to desist from making utterances that may derail the Kofi Annan mediated talks.

Mr Otieno Kajwang' of Mbita and his Gem counterpart Jakoyo Midiwo took issue with weekend remarks by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and a group of MPs under the banner of Central Kenya Forum, describing them as "provocative."

They told the Press at Parliament Buildings that the statements may undermine the collective effort in reaching a quick, practical and lasting settlement to the political crisis.

"We are either committed to the mediation effort or we are not.

"The political crisis in the country is grave and the threat to nationhood is real and therefore any political posturing and grand-standing from any group or individuals is improper," Mr Kajwang' said.

MPs from Central Kenya, Nairobi and Rift Valley allied to PNU held a meeting in Nyeri on Sunday and issued a statement insisting that President Kibaki was legitimately in office.

They argued that he won the election fairly and that a recount of the presidential votes was the only way to end the current crisis.

"If you say you support the talks, then why go to the roof-tops and talk at Kenyans when we have able negotiators from the PNU and ODM burning the midnight oil to come to a negotiated settlement?" posed the Mbita MP.

The two MPs said Kenyans had invested heavily in the talks and were praying for a just, positive and quick resolution of the dispute.

Put roadblocks

Any reckless and chauvinistic utterances that threaten the emerging goodwill were a threat, they said.

The duo also asked Mr Musyoka to keep off the talks, saying they were between PNU and ODM.

The VP was accused of trying to put roadblocks to the peace process to safeguard his position in Government.

The MPs said ODM would accept the outcome of a negotiated settlement.

"We have confidence in our team of negotiators and it is up to them to see what is best for Kenyans, so let's give the team a chance," said Mr Kajwang'.