Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Three PUZZLING events occured today in the Kenyan Political arena. Sequel to the marathon tete-a-tete between the ex-UN Secretary General, Kofi Anan and the warring parties in Kenya, to wit, President Kibaki and Raila Odinga, the long-running battle appears to have come to what seems like a happy ending, with the UN-SG addressing the National Assembly. Other dramatic fallouts from the nearly half-a-month meeting are:
1) President Kibaki orders that the homes of displaced people should be rebuilt and they be returned home. That is nearly 300,000 displaced people. He was launching the free secondary school education programme at a Nairobi school.
2) Kibaki’s opponent, Raila Odinga was in court opposing a petition filed by a voter challenging Kibaki’s election. At the same time, he challenged an election petition challenging his election as MP for Langata in Nairobi.
3) Third the speaker of the National Assembly, Kenneth Marende, hinted to the press that the mediation spearheaded by Koffi Annan is likely to recommend changes in certain laws and amendments to the constitution to accommodate ODM in the government.What makes these events look like a puzzle is the wonder for Kibaki to order the Internally Displaced Persons to be returned home and their homes reconstructed which means that he is confident that no-one will attack those "foreigners" again.Of course some 1190 suspects had been arrested in connection with the killings and other forms of violence. Some 200 of these have been charged with murder - a charge that could mean the Hangman’s noose or life in the slammer. One would ask if these arrest have served in driving sense into the heads of the hotheads who have been killing the Kikuyus with impunity over the years?Why is Odinga opposing the petition to have the Kibaki election nullified? After all his henchmen say that Kibaki’s win is in doubt. It is hard to say whether the court will entertain his objection. In the first instance, he has no locus standi in the matter- since it was filed by a voter. Analysts wonder why ODM is objecting to the petition since it would have achieved what the party does not want to do- ousting President Kibaki. The Kenyan Constitution provides that amendments especially one that could introduce the post of an Executive Prime Minister, are subject to a referendum. Chances are; Kenyans will reject such fundamental changes since they have not asked for it. Just how some of the resolutions from the Kofi-chaired meeting will be constitutionally applied is yet another puzzle that needs to be untangled. But one cannot but wish Kenyans KUDOS for the milestone achievement so far.

No comments: