News 2008


Machel Calls for Lasting Political Solution

The East African Standard (Nairobi)

13 February 2008

Mutinda Mwanzia


Only a political solution can haul Kenya out of the current crisis, a member of the Kenya National Dialogue For Reconciliation committee, Mrs Graca Machel, has said.

Machel said the political solution must involve all parties, which must work closely for the interests of Kenyans.

She added that Parliament must lead the process by passing reforms that will lay the foundation for lasting peace.

Machel said the institution has a historical mission to redefine the common ground where Kenyans must coexist, regardless of their ethnic identity. "Parliament will also be required to support all the
conclusions arrived at to renew the sense of citizenship among all Kenyans," said Machel, when she addressed a Kamukunji attended by all MPs. She added that the crisis was an opportunity for the nation to heal, reconcile and do justice to all. "The crisis is also an opportunity for our leaders to go down and deal with other underlying issues that have threatened to tear the nation apart," said Machel.

She said the Tenth Parliament had a challenge to go down in history as a House that buried ethnic and political divisions and an institution that forged unity.

Machel said children, women and the elderly had borne the brunt of the post-election violence and demanded that leaders find an urgent but lasting solution to their suffering.

"The tears of women and children affected by the crisis should move us to find a solution. They are also dear to someone else," said Machel.

She challenged political leaders to work hard for peace and ensure that children and women never experience such kind of suffering.

Machel said the violence had hurt many countries that had faith in Kenya as an island of peace. "Kenya's pain is Africa's pain and its success is Africa's success," said Machel.

She said the mediation team had listened to a broad range of stakeholders to find the genesis of the political crisis.

"The more we listened the more we understood how the nation is deeply divided and profusely bleeding," said Machel.

She said the team was confronted with many options to end the crisis, but came up with one conclusion - that it was a political crisis that can only be addressed through a political solution.