Tag Archives: Kibaki

Hillary Clinton Wants Kenya Accounting

Last year the nation of Kenya was wracked by horrible violence following the disputed election of Kibaki which was challenged by opposition leader Odinga. During the ensuing chaos, hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee their homes as sectarian and political groups clashed. It is estimated thousands were killed or injured during the riots. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is on an extended visit to African nations and in her first stop in Kenya she berated the nation’s leaders for failure to follow up the violence with a serious investigation into who was behind the killings.

There has been talk of a investigation by the International Criminal Court in order to establish the bottom line in African nations that when an election is stolen, those responsible for violence will be held accountable. She urged establishment of a Special Tribunal with independent investigative power, but this most probably will not happen.

Kenya can establish a precedent by initiating an independent investigation and it would send a message to neighboring Zimbabwe where President Mugabe continues to violate the law by harassing opposition leaders following his own fraudulent election.

Kenya President Supports Media Control Bill

President Kibaki of Kenya signed into law a new bill which empowers the government to take action against the media on grounds it is protecting national security. The controversial Communications Bill 2008 the government is given powers to restrict the freedom of the media during a period of national emergency. Prime Minister Raila Odinga had promised the media the bill would not be signed by the president, but, apparently, President Kibaki decided to double-cross his own prime minister. Machaia Gaitho, chair of the Editors Guild, described the bill as “retrogressive” and said the president simply wanted a tool to “clamp down on democracy” even though all factions in the media opposed passage of such a restrictive bill.

Kibaki insists the bill allows economic development to proceed by giving the government power to deal with electronic transactions. “While press freedom is a cardinal pillar of democracy, this is a right that carries with it special duties and responsibilities. Press freedom must be counterbalanced with other freedoms and must at all times take into account the overriding interest and safety of Kenya.”

The president’s words match those of every tyrant who has used “national emergency” or the “safety of the population” to throttle the forces of democracy.

Kenya Model For Zimbabwe Conflict!

The current crisis in Zimbabwe has made many Africans painfully aware they confronted a similar situation a few months ago that eventually was resolved without a massive collapse of the nation. Raila Odinga, who was cheated of an electoral victory for the presidency, put aside his anger and agreed to cooperate with President Kibak in a coalition government that seeks to avoid the madness that now dominates Zimbabwe where a megalomaniac president is unleashing his armed force and police on those who dare to oppose his rule. Odinga in the new role of prime minister of the country, is currently visiting the United States where he shared with the media the emotions he experienced in deciding to cooperate rather than to fight.

He accepted the coalition government and its large cabinet in order to achieve peace. “The soul-searching we went through on our journey to that point, the sacrifices and compromises that had to be made, the need to address Kenyans’ sense of being wronged and heir unresolved grievances all made for a delicate balancing act.”

Raila Odinga confronted the same situation that is now present in Zimbabwe. Perhaps, the difference is that President Kibaki listened carefully to advice from African leaders and backed away from resorting to violence in order to maintain power. It is clear Robert Mugabe has no such intention and is willing to completely destroy his nation in the quest for power and control.

Kenya Compromise Produces A Cabinet

The ongoing saga of whether Kenya will have a coalition government or chaos was hopefully resolved with the announcement a power-sharing arrangement will be in place. Oppositon leaer Raila Odinga has been appointed prime minister anda new 42 member cabinet replaces the previous 17 member one. “Let’s build a new Kenya where justice is our shield and defender, and where pace, liberty and plenty will be found throughout our country,” said President Kibaki. Former UN chief Kofi Annan brokered the arrangement which provides more positions in government to the opposition Orange Development Movement.

There is little doubt the new Cabinet will be rather expensive given its huge size, but, in the long run, spending money to provide jobs for politicians is less expensive than dealing with street demonstrations and the anger of mobs.

Kenya Escapes Blood Bath By Shaking Hands

The clock of war was slowly ticking as opposing forces in Kenya fnally agreed on a power sharing process which will ensure both President Kibaki and his opponent, Raila Odinga, are prepared to share leadership of the government. Kofi Annan and his UN-backed Panel of African Eminent Persons and the African Union hammered out the deal which was finalized by handshakes on the part of Odinga and Kibaki. The agreement provides for restoring the position of Prime Minister and dividing members of the Cabinet based on their voting status in Parliament. Britin’s Gordon Brown hailed the accord as did the United States.

In a speech shortly after signing the agreement, President Kibaki pledged to work to see to it the deal was honored by all parties in Kenya. The prime minister will be elected by Parliament ensuring whichever party has a majority would now have a say in governing the country. But, despite this agreement, much work must be done. The past few months have witnessed unleashng of tribal anger and this requires ending prejudice and ensuring that all Kenyans enjoy equal economic, social and political equality. A great deal of multicultural education must be done in schools.

Why Kenya Peace Talks Collapsed!

The Kenya Daily Standard reported a member of President Kibaki’s Party of National Unity engaged in a heated exchange with the Panel of Eminent Persons led by Kofi Annan. As a result of the apparent Kibaki refusal to compromise, Kofi Annan has suspended any further discussions to resolve the impasse arising from the fraudulent election for president. The Daily Standard says the Kibaki minister exploded when Annan tried to steer discussions towards what was already drafted in the report of the Legal Working Group. In the ensuing exchange of words, accusations and epithets were hurled around the room as the PNU and the Orange Democratic Movement confronted one another in a slinging match. Both Annan and former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa found themselves attacked and questions raised about their integrity.

The Kibaki rejection of a fair election has resulted in 1000 people dead in Kenya and over 500,000 displaced. Annan was sad that neither party appeared able to grasp the enormity of the situation and the importance of compromise. A major stumbling block is refusal on the part of President Kibaki to surrender some of his power to a prime minister who would come from the ODM.

Secretary of State Condi Rice told the Kenyan leaders, “we will draw our own conclusions about who is responsible for lack of progress and take the necessary steps. We will also exert leadership with the United Nations.”

Kenya Impasse Results In Mob Violence

The struggle to create a new Kenya government which represents the interests of all parties and confronts the election debacle caused by President Kibaki’s vote manipulation, continues without any final resolution. Kibaki has agreed with opposition leader Raila Odinga’s demand for creation of a prime minister, but he is fighting to reduce the power of that office. Raila Odinga insists he has full confidence in the mediation team headed by Kofi Annan, and he received support from prominent parliamentary leader, Frances Ole Kaparo who urged a shift away from an imperial presidency towards a partilamentary system of governance.

As politicians endeavored to establish the basis of government, many Kenyans are witnessing gangs take over their businesses or apartments. Ms. Pascalia Njuku Mutuku told a reporter for the Daily Standard a gang had simply taken over her apartment buildings, evicted her from the premises, and assumed the role of landlord. Similar stories are reported all over Kenya as mob and ethnic rule has become the order of the day.

Does President Kibaki ever ponder the effects of his blatant stealing of an election? Had he simply accepted the voice of the electorate he would have gone down in history as a man who placed interests of the nation in front of his own needs for power. A perennial problem in Africa is the presence of men like Kibaki. Africa needs more Nelson Mandelas.

Kibaki Putting Kibash On Mediation

From the moment tally results came in for the Kenya elections for president, the incumbent, Kibaki was engaged in manipulation of votes and a quick assumption of power. Weeks of violence and death have torn his once peaceful nation into fragmented tribes vying to express latent anger and hatred. Former UN head, Kofi Annan, has been quietly attempting to reconcile opposing groups and has approached the possibility of a settlement. His plan would create the new position of prime minister and allow Kibaki to continue as president. President Kibaki has been forced to accept the new position of “prime minister” who would be someone from the opposition Orange Democratic Movement, but he wants to ensure it will be a powerless position in order to maintain his own power.

Secretary of State Rice whisked trough Kenya urging all sides to cooperate and President Bush on his trip to Africa is warning Kenya to avoid a Rwanda outcome. The ODM wants action since the process has been dragging on for weeks. Its leader, Raila Odinga believes Kibaki is stalling and frustrating peace efforts because of its refusal to surrender any power to the opposition. Step one is concluding the process is for Odinga and Kibaki to sit down and work out details of power sharing. Kibaki can not be allowed to continue his complete control of executive power.

Bush Talks-Kenya Reacts!

Kenya’s Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula, reacted with anger to a recent comment by President Bush concerning the political crisis in the African nation. Bush commented a power sharing agreement was the only way out of the impasse. The African diplomat angrily responded; “We will not be led, guided or given conditions by foreign States on how to reach a solution to solve the political impasse in Kenya. They will not tell us to do this or that. Holding a gun to our heads is something we will not take.” Leaders of the Orange Democratic Movement endorsed the Bush comment leading to angry words between parties trying to deal with the problem.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has been working with all sides in an attempt to reach a consensus for a solution that can work. This is not the time for an American or British or any other foreign nation to intrude into the complex task of resolving opposing views. President Bush appears to forget that within a day of Kibaki claiming victory in the presidential election, the Bush administration endorsed his “victory.” Did that swift endorsement play a role in hardening the initial desire of Kibaki not to compromise? At this point, Annan is the best hope for achieving a solution. It would be best if, for once, the Bush administration relied on the old adage that silence is golden.

Peace In Kenya– Or Else, Warn Powers

The British government has warned any individuals who stand in the way of the Dr. Kofi Anan-led mediation talks that any obstruction would “face the consequences.” The Swiss government also supported the tough stand of Great Britain by saying it would cancel visas for obstructionists. The mediation effort has reached a critical point and there is need for all parties to work with Annan on completing the task of reconciliation and peace. England’s Foreign Minister David Miliband is encouraged that Annan has been able to usehis panel of Eminent Persons to make the process of peace work.

The concerns expressed by Great Britain and Switzerland revolve around Annan’s proposal that, after a two year period of coalition government, there would be a new general election for president. This has upset the Kibaki government which does not wish to relinquish power before its completion of office. Reality is there must be an election in the near future if peace is finally to arrive in Kenya.