Kibaki chairs Grand Coalition meet

February 11, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 11 – President Mwai Kibaki has chaired a meeting of the Permanent Committee on the Management of the Grand Coalition to strategise on a bill seeking to establish a special tribunal that will try post-election violence suspects.

During the meeting at Harambee House on Wednesday, a report by the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation Monitoring Project (KNDRM) was tabled and discussed.

The report focused on the progress in implementing the agreed goals of agenda one to four under the Serena mediation talks.

A section of MPs have in the last two weeks defied efforts by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to rally them to support the Bill.

President Kibaki has maintained that Ministers and their Assistants must stand together as members of the Grand Coalition Government and respect the principle of collective responsibility.

The Head of State told a meeting for the Ministers and Assistant Ministers on Tuesday that Kenyans looked up to them for leadership and they would be failing if they did not live up to the expectations of the electorate.

In this regard, President Kibaki asked the Ministers and Assistant Ministers to project a common front and vote for the Constitution of Kenya Amendment (Bill No. 25) and the Special Tribunal for Kenya Bill (Bill No. 26) that are critical in entrenching the reform agenda in the country.

The Permanent Committee on the Management of the Grand Coalition was established last month to handle the affairs of the merged Government.

Members of the committee are the President, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Deputy Prime Ministers Musalia Mudavadi and Uhuru Kenyatta and nine other Cabinet Ministers.

KNDRM has in the past called for more dynamic and concerted efforts to achieve the four agendas of the National Accord.

The team held a review meeting late last month and raised concerns with the state of governance, the fight against corruption and the culture of impunity in the country.

“The Dialogue Team noted that progress had been made in some areas, but emphasised that more needs to be done to achieve the KNDRM’s objectives in a timely fashion, to meet the high expectations of Kenyans,” a short statement from the UN Spokesman Nasser Ega-Musa read.

The team that crafted the National Accord signed between President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga has been monitoring the progress of the reforms contained therein.

The next meeting of the Dialogue Team to review the implementation process is scheduled for late April.

Key agendas contained in the Accord include: immediate action to stop violence and restore fundamental rights and liberties, immediate measures to address the humanitarian crisis, promoting reconciliation and healing and how to overcome the political crisis.

Agenda Four revolves around long-term issues and solutions to prevent a repeat of the poll violence (including constitutional, legal and institutional reform; tackling poverty, inequity and regional development imbalances; tackling unemployment, particularly among the youth; consolidating national cohesion and unity; undertaking land reform; and addressing transparency, accountability and impunity).

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