Kenyan MPs, civil society bank hopes on Annan

October 5, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 5 – The civil society and a section of the Members of Parliament on Monday exuded confidence that the visit by former mediator Kofi Annan would help kick-start the ‘stalled’ reform process. 

Central Imenti MP Gitobu Imanyara told Capital News that he hoped Mr Annan would articulate the expectations of Kenyans on the pace of the reforms and get a renewed commitment from the President and Prime Minister.

"Mr Annan’s visit is timely and welcomed because he has the opportunity to sit down with the President and emphasise to him that the international community sees Kenya at a golden moment to give leadership on how the to deal with those who planned and executed the post poll conflict, something an opportunity that most Kenyans don’t have," he said.

Mr Imanyara who is seeking to form a special tribunal to try perpetrators of last year’s post poll violence is scheduled to meet Annan tomorrow.

"Mr Annan is very articulate and not only that, he carries a lot of international credibility.  If he comes out and says that he managed to convince the president there will be no basis to dispute it."

He added; "when I get the opportunity, I will tell him that we support his efforts to get the President to provide leadership to this process because without presidential leadership, we are unlikely to attain the threshold of the two-thirds majority that we need (to set up a local tribunal)."

Mr Imanyara also dismissed a report card by the Government Spokesman claiming 90 percent success rate in the delivery of Agenda 4 items saying Kenya had fallen far behind in the reform agenda.

"If we had achieved 90 percent then there would be no need for Mr Annan to come to Kenyan, for Mr Ocampo to come to Kenya or President Obama through the US mission to keep calling for political will to see through the reform agenda.  It would not be essential," he said.

Mr Annan, who is visiting as head of an African Union Panel of Eminent Persons, will also meet religious and business leaders and other interest groups to get their take on how far the reforms have come.

He is expected to hold discussion on the pace of key series of reforms including constitutional reform, police changes and prosecution of those responsible for the post-poll chaos.

At the same time, Members of the civil society said they expected Mr Annan’s visit would give Kenyans a real opportunity to review the progress of the reform agenda agreed on under the National Accord.

Speaking to Capital News, International Centre for Policy and Conflict Executive Director Ndung’u Wainaina said they would brief the former UN Secretary General on the government’s shortcomings of the Agenda 4 items and stress action areas.

The civil society said Kenya had virtually made no progress on the reform agenda.

Mr Wainaina recalled that the perpetrators of post election violence had not been brought to justice; corruption continues with impunity and armed militias are on the rise.

He said the steps the government had taken toward electoral, constitutional, security and land reforms had shown few substantive results.

"This is really not the time to look at these as the solutions that are being forced on by the West.  This is the real chance for Kenyans to look at we have come from and we are going and decide whether we have moved or how fast we should move".

Mr Annan was expected to meet members of the civil society on Tuesday where Mr Wainaina said they would present their concerns over the haphazard manner the government was using to resettle Internally Displaced Persons.

The two were speaking at a two-day conference under the banner ‘Unrelenting Questing for Truth and Justice’.


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