ODM blamed for failed talks

April 5, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 5- The blame game over the collapse of the coalition talks in Kilaguni continued on Sunday with the Party of National Unity (PNU)accusing Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) partners of tabling a different agenda from the one that had been agreed on.

Speaking after chairing a two-hour long meeting of the PNU coalition parties, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said ODM had tried to re-negotiate the National Accord by focusing on the power sharing aspect. 

“Our coalition partners are seeking for renegotiation of the February 2008 National Accord. Indeed our ODM partners had proposed a draft agreement on the grand coalition between ODM and PNU, whose key focus is power sharing,” he said.

The Vice-President told a news conference in Nairobi that contradicted PM Raila Odinga`s statement that no consultations were done, claiming that the Prime Minister and President Kibaki had held a private meeting before joining everyone for dinner.

“We did not storm out of the meeting; it simply did not take off,” Mr Odinga told reporters on Saturday after flying back to Nairobi. “Unfortunately we were unable to agree on anything and, therefore, the meeting collapsed,” he said ODM party members would be consulted to determine a course of action.

KANU Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said the meeting had intended to discuss the implementation of the Waki Report and other national issues

Mr Kenyatta accused ODM leaders in Kilaguni of ‘grandstanding’.

“Rather than us sitting together even if we did not agree on the agenda and say that we are going to continue with those consultations and be able to give this country one united strong front, they have felt it necessary to come back to Nairobi and issue a press statement on their own and unfortunately give facts that are incorrect,” said Mr Kenyatta.

PNU Chairman and Internal Security Minister George Saitoti said issues brought by the ODM wing of the Grand Coalition Government would be addressed in the constitutional reforms.

“Given the fact that we were supposed to have gone and discussed very substantive matter which would have required much greater preparation than would be the case some of those additional agendas were touching on the Constitution. Obviously that is not why we had gone there,” he said. 

Mr Musyoka emerged from the meeting that was attended by more than 30 MPs including nine cabinet ministers, and said that PNU were willing to meet their coalition partners for another meeting but it should only happen after the agenda was agreed on.

The aborted meeting came just days after a conference convened in Geneva by chief mediator Kofi Annan to discuss the state of the coalition and the future of Kenya.

ODM wanted to discuss management of the grand coalition, membership of the management committee, decision-making and government communication. They also wanted to discuss appointments in government and protocol.


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