Kenya PM meets Blair

May 11, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 11 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has held talks with former British Premier Tony Blair over the performance and challenges facing the grand coalition government.

Mr Blair said the United Kingdom was ready to help the country in the proposed institutional reforms outlined in the National Accord.

Mr Odinga said the former colonial power had expressed concerns about the progress the coalition had made towards the entrenchment and subsequent implementation of the reform agenda in the governance of the country.

He said Mr Blair, who made a stopover at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, had promised that Britain was more than willing to support the nation to realise the envisaged reforms within the set timeframe.

“Our talks were fruitful after the UK indicated they were ready to support including financial bailouts to see the country pull through these reforms," the Premier said.

He said the gesture was timely especially now that the country was going through difficult economic times marred by ravaging drought, widespread hunger and the global financial crunch.

Mr Odinga said the nation was at crossroads due to unfavourable economic tide after the post election crisis and required support to sustain the reform agenda.

The Premier informed Mr Blair that vital institutional structures necessary for the entrenchment of the reforms were established and assured that things were on course.

“We have already formulated commissions for the constitutional review process and reforms on the electoral, judicial, police and others to restructure the boundary demarcation.”

Mr Odinga said an Interim Independent Electoral body was in place to undertake an overhaul and democratise the poll processes to avert recurrence of events that characterised the 2007 polls.

He insisted that “a radical surgery in the judicial system was inevitable if the failed criminal justice systems were to be redeemed” to restore the waning confidence of the public on the judiciary.

The Premier met Mr Blair who had arrived from Rwanda where he had gone to offer advisory services to the war ravaged nations since his retirement as the British Premier.

The Premier also saw official from the Czech Republic who he encouraged to promote bilateral ties with Kenya for the mutual benefit of both nations.

During the brief meeting with the Czech officials, the first batch of Kenya’s horticultural products were airlifted directly to the country amid proposal to establish direct flights to the Eastern Europe republic to promote export of flowers.


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