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Coalition here to stay, says Kenyan VP

LONDON, Dec 1 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has assured foreign investors that the Grand Coalition Government will not collapse but will instead last through to the year 2012.

Speaking in London to a group of British Members of Parliament led by Lord David Steel in the House of Commons, the VP said Kenya was on the rebound and ready to take off economically, socially and politically, after the upheavals of the 2007-2008 period.

He told the leaders gathered in the committee room of the House of Commons that one of the indicators that Kenya was on the recovery path was the drive to deliver a new Constitution by next year.

"The Committee of Experts has produced a draft upon which Kenyans will give recommendations for amendments before the final documents goes for a referendum vote," the VP said.

Mr Musyoka noted that Kenyan leaders will narrow their differences over contentious issues in the draft in order to ensure that this time round unlike the year 2005, the country goes through a non-contested referendum.

He said Kenya was embracing national healing and reconciliation as a way of achieving a national cohesion. “We are determined to unite all Kenyans regardless of their religion, tribe or race," he said.

Lord Steel told the Vice President that the international community was keen to help Kenya in its reform agenda and in its fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

"Kenya is a crucial partner for the UK and it\’s our wish to foster that relationship for the benefit of the citizens of our two countries," Lord Steel said.

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Mr Musyoka also held discussions with several members of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA-UK) led by MPs Nigel Evans of the Conservative Party who is the CPA treasurer and Andrew Tuggy, the Secretary.

The leaders expressed their commitment to ensuring the success of the up coming Commonwealth Association conference to be held in Nairobi in September 2010.

“We wish also to set up UK–Kenya  Parliamentary friendship team once we are through  with the general  elections  expected  in May  next year," said Mr Evans.

The meeting between the VP and members of the East Africa Association – an umbrella organisation bringing together representatives of companies from 20 European firms dwelled on the role of Kenya in ensuring an attractive investor environment in the East African region.

Present was Lord Valentine Cecily the East Africa Association Chairman, executives of the security printing firm De la Rue as wells as representative of the Standard Chartered  Bank and the Madhvani Group which has major operations in Uganda.

The investors expressed concerns over Internally Displaced Persons in Kenya. They also wished to be briefed on the progress of reforms under Agenda No 4 as well as the investment opportunities in the transport infrastructure energy, agriculture subsectors.

Mr Musyoka informed the business leaders that with the signing of the East African Community’s common market protocol, investment opportunities in a larger market was now a reality.

The VP concluded his visit to London by attending a fund raiser for Trust for Africa Schools (TAS) a UK charity run by Member of Parliament Robert Marshalls Andrews and his wife Gill. TAS supports school projects in Kenya Ethiopia and Uganda.

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