Thursday, February 28, 2008

We have a deal!

It is hard to describe the mood in the country at the moment. Not even the biggest granary in my village can contain the overwhelming sigh of relief Kenyans breathed when Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga have signed a deal in which they will share power.

While the deal sounds good on the face of it, the challenge remains in getting it to pass thru Parliament. There is still a lot of suspicion, anger and mutual distrust among MPs. At the same time, while the rest of the country was celebrating, I doubt that those who lost their loved ones, those who are displaced and those who lost everything managed any smiles. At the same time, police teargassed Nairobi residents who were apparently shouting ODM! ODM! whilecelebrating the news that a deal would be signed. It tells you that even if you tame a snake, it can still bite you.

The deal is as follows:
The crisis triggered by the 2007 disputed presidential elections has brought to the surface
deep-seated and long-standing divisions within Kenyan society. If left unaddressed, these
divisions threaten the very existence of Kenya as a unified country. The Kenyan people are
now looking to their leaders to ensure that their country will not be lost.
Given the current situation, neither side can realistically govern the country without the
other. There must be real power-sharing to move the country forward and begin the healing
and reconciliation process.
With this agreement, we are stepping forwarding together, as political leaders, to overcome
the current crisis and to set the country on a new path. As partners in a coalition
government, we commit ourselves to work together in good faith as true partners, through
constant consultation and willingness to compromise.
This agreement is designed to create an environment conducive to such a partnership and to
build mutual trust and confidence. It is not about creating positions that reward individuals.
It seeks to enable Kenya’s political leaders to look beyond partisan considerations with a
view to promoting the greater interests of the nation as a whole. It provides the means to
implement a coherent and far-reaching reform agenda, to address the fundamental root
causes of recurrent conflict, and to create a better, more secure, more prosperous Kenya for
To resolve the political crisis, and in the spirit of coalition and partnership, we have agreed to
enact the National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008, whose provisions have been agreed
upon in their entirety by the parties hereto and a draft copy thereof is appended hereto.
Its key points are:
• There will be a Prime Minister of the Government of Kenya, with authority to
coordinate and supervise the execution of the functions and affairs of the Government
of Kenya.
• The Prime Minister will be an elected member of the National Assembly and the
parliamentary leader of the largest party in the National Assembly, or of a coalition, if
the largest party does not command a majority.
• Each member of the coalition shall nominate one person from the National Assembly to
be appointed a Deputy Prime Minister.
• The Cabinet will consist of the President, the Vice-President, the Prime Minister, the
two Deputy Prime Ministers and the other Ministers. The removal of any Minister of
the coalition will be subject to consultation and concurrence in writing by the leaders.
• The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers can only be removed if the National
Assembly passes a motion of no confidence with a majority vote.
• The composition of the coalition government will at all times take into account the
principle of portfolio balance and will reflect their relative parliamentary strength.
• The coalition will be dissolved if the Tenth Parliament is dissolved; or if the parties
agree in writing; or if one coalition partner withdraws from the coalition.
• The National Accord and Reconciliation Act shall be entrenched in the Constitution.
Having agreed on the critical issues above, we will now take this process to Parliament. It will
be convened at the earliest moment to enact these agreements. This will be in the form of an
Act of Parliament and the necessary amendment to the Constitution.
We believe by these steps we can together in the spirit of partnership bring peace and
prosperity back to the people of Kenya who so richly deserve it.
Agreed this date 28 February 2008
________________________ ________________________
Hon. Raila Odinga H.E. President Mwai Kibaki
Orange Democratic Movement Government/Party of National Unity
Witnessed By:
_________________________ _________________________
H.E. Kofi A. Annan H.E. President Jakaya Kikwete
Chairman of the Panel President of the United Republic of
of Eminent African Personalities Tanzania
and Chairman of the African Union

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