News 2008


Seek Political Solution, Counsels Machel

The East African Standard (Nairobi)

12 February 2008

Mutinda Mwanzia


The current crisis facing the country can only be addressed through a political solution.

Mrs Graca Machel, a member of the Kenya National Dialogue For Reconciliation Committee has said.

Speaking at the Parliament's Old Chambers, on Tuesday, Machel called on all parties to work towards attaining political solution to the crisis.

'Parliament must lead the peace process by passing reforms that will lay the foundation for lasting peace in the country,' said the former Soth African First Lady adding that the House has an historical mission to re-define the common ground 'where Kenyans must co-exist regardless of their ethnic identity'.

Parliament will also be required to support all the conclusions arrived at so as to renew the sense of citizenship among all Kenyans.

The crisis, which erupted immediately President Kibaki was declared the winner of last month's General Election, provides an opportunity to heal, reconcile and do justice to all.

The results of December 27 polls have been disputed with ODM saying it won the contest only for PNU to steal their victory.

On the other, PNU insists its candidate President Mwai Kibaki won the poll fairly. On several occasions, the government has been urging ODM leader Raila Odinga to challenge the presidential election results in a court of law as stipulated in the constitution.

Over 1000 people have been killed, and another 300,000 displaced since the post-election violence erupted on December 30 following the swearing in of Kibaki.

Children, women and the elderly have borne the brunt of the violence.

Machel urged leaders not to spare any efforts in their bid to end suffering and political stalemate engulfing the country.

The informal session, which brought together all the legislators, was convened by the Speaker of the National, Mr Keneth Marende to allow the Kofi Annan-led team to brief the MPs on its progress. Also sitting on the panel is former Tanzanian President Mr Benjamin Mkapa.