Musyimi wants new ministry for national healing

July 7, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 7 – Gachoka Member of Parliament Mutava Musyimi has proposed the formation of a Ministry of National Reconciliation and Cohesion so that the country can realise a focused approach of national healing that already divided country.

Rev Musyimi regrets that the National Cohesion Department at the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ministry was insufficient to drive the reconciliation agenda and bridge the historical rifts confronting the country. The first time Member of Parliament said on Tuesday that the process of re-uniting the country required a clear framework with guiding principles which is not happening presently.

“You need a specific Ministry that drives this agenda and takes the responsibility on behalf of the government,” he said in support of his proposal. 

“Let us take this issue more seriously and take the initiatives we need so that we don’t look at 2012 with fore boarding or wonder what will happen to the country.” National reconciliation was part of Agenda Four of the National Accord but the government has been under heavy criticism for its seeming feigning commitment and sluggish progress so far.

“If we say we have the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs we are asking ourselves what focus has the Ministry given since it was formed?” he queried.

The Secretary of National Cohesion at the Justice Ministry Kithure Kindiki resigned three months into the job alleging lack of political will, resources and commitment to the agenda.

“The Ministry has done nothing within the context of National Cohesion,” Dr Kindiki told Capital News on Tuesday.

He threw his weight behind the proposal for a new Ministry. He said the issue of National Cohesion is very crucial and requires a full ministry to direct it.

“That is the best idea I have heard in recent times. While I was there we had the feeling that this was not a department to be formed in a ministry doing a million things,”

Rev Musyimi proposes the departments of Civic Competence, Peace and Unity Building, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation and that of Administration and Finance for the new ministry.

The legislator says the Ministry should work in partnerships with the civil society movement, police, provincial administration, religious organisations and other non-governmental organisations and donors to achieve its mandate. He however clarified that he was not advocating for the increase in the number of the already bloated cabinet but the merging of two other ministries whose mandate is thin and similar.

This proposal come as the country grapples with the issue of punishing perpetrators of the post election violence and fears that the country remains highly divided along ethnic and party lines.

“You could have a tribunal or go to The Hague or even have another process but does that guarantee you end to impunity and cohesion? These are serious questions,” he said.


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