PM, VP say govt will hold

April 11, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Saturday said he was optimistic that differences in the Grand Coalition Government would be sorted out soon.
The Premier who appeared to change tune after a scathing attack on the government earlier in the week said the coalition would hold until 2012 contrary to public perception.
“We and our PNU (Party of National Unity) partners will soon be heading for another retreat to iron out issues after we failed to agree in Kilaguni,” he said.
Elsewhere, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka assured Kenyans that the Grand Coalition Government was stable despite the apparent differences.

Mr. Musyoka said contrary to speculation, the President and the Prime Minister were closely working together and indicated that they will soon jointly assure the country of the same.

“Dialogue must be given a chance”, he said.

Speaking in Rarieda constituency, Mr Odinga urged Orange Democratic Party supporters to remain calm saying the current challenges in government would be solved amicably.
“Quitting the government is not part of our strategy to push for reforms but we will stay there and ensure change,” he said.

On his part, Vice President said the apparent differences that arose at the Kilaguni retreat were minor misunderstanding that could not be allowed to tear the country apart.

“I urge Kenyans to shun any calls for mass action, because participating in them could return the country back to a situation similar to the post-election violence,” he said.

The Vice President noted that Kenyans were going through difficult times, particularly due to the prolonged famine and poverty which needed a concerted effort from leaders to address.
Mr Musyoka made the remarks during the funeral of the late Esther Ndungwa Masika in Wote, Makueni district.
Addressing mourners, Nairobi Metropolitan minister Mutula Kilonzo called on leaders in the country to work together towards the much-needed reforms in the country.

“This is the time to rededicate our efforts to development and reforms and not political rhetoric,” he said.

Unified approach

In Nakuru, retired President Daniel Moi called on leaders from the political divide to adopt a unified approach to national development and ensure that security and general welfare of all Kenyans was adopted.

"In this connection I urge leaders to consider the wider ramifications of their utterances since carelessness was bound to inflame the gullible ordinary citizens. The consequence of such an eventuality should be painful to contemplate," said Mr Moi in a statement.

The former Head of State said he was concerned with unnecessary wrangling between certain sections of the coalition partners.

"Coming so soon after the post election violence and the subsequent National Accord, the people of Kenya should be alarmed by the current state of affairs because their wounds, both physical and psychological are not completely healed," he said.

"During this time of serious economic recession the ordinary Kenyan expects their leaders to use the kind of language and deeds that restore hope, inspire and promote racial harmony as well as national cohesion."


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