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Annan holds talks with Kenyan leaders

NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 3 – Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan on Thursday held closed door meetings with Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende.

Mr Annan who chaired the National Dialogue and Reconciliation Committee that saw the inception of the coalition system of governance, said he will make a comprehensive statement on the progress of the Special Tribunal Bill after meeting President Mwai Kibaki.

“It’s something that I have been following very closely and I am very much aware of the details but I am not ready to discuss it. I am going to have further discussion and later on my stay I will say something about it,” he said after an hour-long meeting the Speaker at Parliament Buildings.

He is expected to meet President Mwai Kibaki on Friday at Harambee House Office.

A statement from Mr Annan’s spokesman Robert Watkinson said: “Their discussions focused on the implementation of the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation and developments in Kenya since Mr Annan last visited the country in early October.”

"Mr Annan is pleased to be once again in Kenya and is looking forward to further meetings next week with individuals and organisations involved in the country\’s reform agenda."

Mr Annan challenged parliamentarians to step up and play a more proactive role in the delivery of the reform agenda.

“We are all engaged in the reforms and Parliament has a crucial role to play in this and I think the Speaker and hopefully all the parliamentarians are aware of the grave and onerous responsibilities that they have,” he said.

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On his part, the Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende defended Parliament against accusations that it was not handling issue with seriousness it deserved.

Mr Marende said he was confident that the House had done its part saying that it was up to the Executive to deliver on its component.

“Parliament has merely played its role as it should and we have not in anyway usurped the role of the Executive neither have we as it has been claimed in certain quarters intimidated the Cabinet. I think we merely did what we should do,” he said.

Mr Marende said they also discussed the constitutional review process.

Mr Annan is expected to be joined by Graca Machel to evaluate the report card of the Coalition government.

The visit by the two comes in the wake of a frustrated attempt by Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara to enact a Bill that seeks to set up a Special Tribunal to try post election violence suspects.


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