Kenya coalition will hold, Wetangula says

February 26, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 25 – Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula is confident that the Grand Coalition Government will last the full term despite persistent wrangles.

Mr Wetangula who was a member of the Kenya Dialogue and Reconciliation team told Capital News that no matter how deep rooted and frequently differences occurred in the government, most of those in the Cabinet were keen to hold it to the brink.

“I have no doubts whatsoever that this coalition will last for the full term.  There are challenges as it is common with coalitions in many other countries,” he told Capital News in an interview as the country prepares to mark the second anniversary of the signing of the National Accord on Sunday.

He commended President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga for their patience in controlling divisive views of their followers and still managing to push ahead with the government’s development agenda amidst the differences.

“Even when spoilers appear to drive the government to veer off the rails, the two principals bring us back and remind us that we need to hold the country together,” he said.

Mr Wetangula appealed to President Kibaki and Mr Raila to leave avenues of communication open for consultations to ensure that any matters within the government are resolved amicably.

He also advised them to communicate regularly and conduct honest consultations that will give them solutions.

Even though he recognises the important role played by the African Union, especially by Chief Mediator Kofi Annan, Mr Wetangula believes Kenya can manage its affairs without undue reliance on the international community to resolve minor issues.

“Even in marriages, you will not like a situation which every time you don’t agree with your husband, he runs to call his mother or the wife calls her father.  You have to learn how to live with each other, appreciate each others’ strengths and weaknesses,” he said.

The Sirisia legislator said it was important for the country to show responsibility by taking up its leadership role seriously and practically.

He also appealed to the Kenyan public for patience whenever disputes occurred. According to Mr Wetangula, a lot has been achieved for the two years it has been in existence.

He asserted for instance that the reform process had already started. Mr Wetangula said he was happy that Kenyans would soon have a Constitution which covers most of the Agenda 4 issues of the mediation talks. He singled out a new Constitution as one of the major reforms that will cement the country and prevent violence in future elections.

Agenda 4 consists of constitutional, institutional and legal reforms, poverty inequality and regional imbalances, unemployment among the youth, consolidation of national cohesion and unity, land reforms, transparency, accountability and impunity.

The Minister said that most of them were already in progress and expressed confidence that the government will deliver them before the end of its term in 2012.

Mr Wetangula was appointed to the mediation team to represent the Party of National Unity alongside Gichugu MP Martha Karua, Education Minister Sam Ongeri and Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo.

The Orange Democratic Movement had Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, Lands Minister James Orengo, Agriculture Minister William Ruto and Higher Education Minister Sally Kosgei.

The team was led by a panel of Eminent African Personalities; Graca Machel- Mandela, and former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa under the chairmanship of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.


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