, NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 7 – Former UN chief Kofi Annan on Monday met President Mwai Kibaki to discuss the pace of reforms in the country.
The two-hour meeting was also attended by Eminent African Personality Graca Machel. The talks were also to dwell on steps being taken to set up a local tribunal to try post-election violence suspects.
A statement from the Presidential Press Service said the President assured Mr Annan that the Coalition Government was committed to the implementation of critical reforms in various institutions as evidenced by the publication and release of the Harmonised Draft Constitution for public debate.
“During the discussions President Kibaki briefed them on the progress the country has made in the implementation of various reforms intended to safeguard the gains made in the realisation of a stable, peaceful and democratic nation,” the statement read in part.
The Head of State expressed the government’s determination to ensure that a new constitutional dispensation was attained by next year.
“President Kibaki further appraised Mr Annan on the progress made on reforms outlined under Agenda Item Four agreed upon under the National Accord particularly land reforms which are being addressed by the National Land Policy recently approved by the Cabinet and adopted by Parliament,” said the dispatch from PPS.
Other institutional transformations that are ongoing include the implementation of police reforms as outlined in Ransley report as well as streamlining the functions of the Judiciary by adopting a sector-wide approach in the justice sector.
Earlier this year Parliament rejected a government-sponsored Bill, and an attempt by Central Imenti lawmaker Gitobu Imanyara to establish such a tribunal has suffered persistent sabotage by MPs.
Mr Annan arrived in the country last week and held closed door meetings with Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende.
Mr Annan is expected to address a news conference on Tuesday, regarding their talks with the two principals – President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Mr Annan has praised Parliament and Speaker Kenneth Marende for efforts to set up a special tribunal to try post election violence suspects.
The bid to set up the tribunal has been sabotaged three times, with MPs walking out, citing quorum hitches.
The government too has taken a back seat in bringing the masterminds to book and has refused to voluntarily send the suspects to the International Criminal Court, saying it would amount to abdication of its responsibility.
Mr Annan has called for the arrest and prosecution of the masterminds of the post-poll chaos before the next General Election to be held in 2012.
After meeting Mr Annan, President Kibaki held a meeting with Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere, Attorney General Amos Wako, Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko and Solicitor General Wanjuki Muchemi.