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Kenya team yet to be cleared for Geneva meet

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 25 – A government delegation planning to travel to Geneva, Switzerland for a forum convened by former United Nations boss Kofi Annan to discuss the Grand Coalition government is yet to get clearance to attend the talks.

Sources told Capital News on Wednesday evening that the delegation that includes members from the Serena mediation team was still waiting for communication from the Office of the President on whether they should proceed for the talks that are scheduled to begin next week Tuesday.

“The team is expected to travel on Friday but no reason has been given for the delay. They could however get communication on Thursday,” the source said.

Ministers travelling out of the country must get permission from the Office of the President before they proceed for official government business abroad.

Mr Annan had in February summoned President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to the meeting to discuss ways of fast tracking the reform agenda in the country. Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka however said the president would not be attending.

Making the summons the former UN Boss, who negotiated a deal to end the 2007 post election violence said he was concerned about the slow progress the government was making to carry out a reform agenda agreed upon during the Serena talks.

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) had indicated that they would advise their representatives at the Geneva talks to push for the renegotiation of the National Accord, a power sharing deal signed between the President Kibaki and PM Odinga in February 2008.

ODM has accused it coalition partner the Party of National of Unity (PNU) of not honouring the 50-50 sharing of government positions as called for in the Accord. PNU has however told ODM to put up or move out of the coalition, saying they were not ready to renegotiate the power sharing deal.

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