Day 2 of Kenya coalition retreat

April 4, 2009 12:00 am

, VOI, Kenya, Apr 4 – A retreat to iron out differences and forge unity and collective responsibility in the ‘shaky’ coalition government entered day two on Saturday.

Reports indicated that a locked-door session began at around 10am shortly after officials from both the Orange Democratic Movement and the Party of National Unity held brief separate meetings. However details of what had transpired on Friday remained a guess for everyone as the Press was kept at bay away from the meeting venue with no official communication coming in, although a press brief was expected later in the day.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are chairing the meeting of the Permanent Committee on the Management of the Grand Coalition affairs at the Kilaguni Lodge in the Tsavo. The team has Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Ministers Uhuru Kenyatta, George Saitoti, Ali Mwakwere, Moses Wetangula, Charity Ngilu, William Ruto, Mohammed Elmi, Jeffa Kingi, Mutula Kilonzo and James Orengo.

The meeting comes at a time when the partners, Party of National Unity and the Orange Democratic Movement remaining divided over government policies and suspicious of each other. ODM has continually accused its partner of taking sidelining them in key government decisions and appointments.

It also comes at a time when public image of the government has remained at an all time low owing to perceived faded commitment on the implementation of long term reforms envisaged in Agenda Four. Mr Odinga had earlier in the week intimated that the meeting would strive to come up with clear bench marks and timelines for the implementation of the reforms while Mr Musyoka had said that the meeting would seek unity within the government.

Agenda Item Four envisages police, judicial, land and electoral reforms as long-term solutions to avert a repeat of the crisis experienced in the aftermath of the 2007 general election. However the government’s commitment and pace on these reforms has remained under heavy scrutiny. An audit of the performance of the coalition government commissioned by the National Dialogue and Reconciliation Team concluded that the coalition government had failed to deliver as divisions have dominated its operations.

Mr Odinga signed the peace accord with President Mwai Kibaki in February 2008 agreeing to share power following the disputed Presidential election results. A total of 1,133 people lost their lives while more than 300,000 were displaced from their homes.

In January, Parliament rejected an attempt to constitute a Special Tribunal to try perpetrators of the post election violence as recommended by the Waki Commission into the Post election Violence. Mr Musyoka however said that the government would work hard to push through in a second attempt when parliament reopens.

This is the third meeting of the management committee.


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