Kenya PM reassures envoys

April 23, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 23 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Thursday assured the European Union that the coalition government was determined to implement the National Accord to the letter.

He said the coalition had made strides to see through the enactment of legislations that were required to pave way for the entrenchment of recommendations, for better governance and posterity of the nation.

The Premier told local Envoys from the Union’s member states that the coalition management team was on track to realise the aspiration of Kenyans, but regretted that some quarters misinterpreted the accord.

He said most short term issues under the first three agendas were conclusively resolved while the fourth which comprised matters with long term ramifications, were on course.

The Premier expressed optimism that things would work out despite hitches and reassured the seemingly disillusioned international community that the teething problems in the coalition arrangement were tolerable.

“Nothing is wrong with the accord, we already have an Interim Electoral Commission and we only need to patch up contentious issues in the Bomas draft to develop a new Constitutional document," he said.

Mr Odinga said that other pertinent long term issues including the judicial, land, and police reforms were gradually taking shape in governance circles to ensure that the rule of law was upheld when such measures were fully in practice.

The Premier cited the Judiciary system, whose reforms were critical in the war against corruption and revealed that the Cabinet had ratified recommendations to increase budgetary allocation to the sector in the next financial year.

“The government will increase budgetary allocation to the Judiciary to fast track recruitment of new magistrates and judges which will be done in a transparent and completive manner,” he assured the envoys.

The PM informed the diplomats during a breakfast meeting that the government and her development partners managed to resettled at least 90 percent of the over 600,000 displaced victims of the 2008 post election crisis.

He said the poll chaos prompted the installation of more security bases in affected areas to counter possible recurrence of acts of civil disorder, adding that 36 new police stations and another 108 Administration Police posts were established in the hot spots.

However, the envoys proposed that the government adopt both a local and an international tribunal to try suspects of the post election violence if parliament failed to arrive at a consensus, but the premier allayed their fears.

The envoys also wanted cases pertaining to extra judicial killings pursued, but expressed concern over the recent massacre in Nyeri, which Mr Odinga explained, was suspected retaliatory attacks by aggrieved members of the outlawed Mungiki sect.

He told the envoys from Sweden, Britain, Netherlands, Denmark and Czechoslovakia among others that the sect appeared to have hit back to avenge the deaths of members killed within the locality by a village vigilante group.

On food security, the Premier said the state had put remedial mechanisms to mitigate the food shortage and had embarked on the irrigation farming method since the rain fed system was unpredictable.

“For long term food security, the government is prioritising irrigated food production as a key step towards attainment of food security, unlike relying on rain fed production,” he announced.

He said the rehabilitation of eight stalled irrigation schemes was underway to revamp and exploit the underutilised arable land, to boost the country’s potential for food production.

Mr Odinga said funds for the construction of six new dams was set aside to open up more areas for crop production, especially now that the state was involved in the marketing and distribution of fertilizer and certified seeds to farmers.



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