Africa News blog

African business, politics and lifestyle

Kenya rivals agree peace deal: How will it be secured?

February 28, 2008

Kenya’s political rivals signed a long-anticipated peace deal after power-sharing talks to end mayhem over disputed Dec. 27 elections that has killed 1,000 people. The agreement followed tortuous talks mediated by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and pressure from home and abroad on President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga to make compromises to avert severe damage to East Africa’s biggest economy.

Have your say on the terms of the power-sharing deal, the prospect for a quick return to normality in Kenya or on what it would take to secure the peace accord.

Here is the full text of the agreement:
ACTING TOGETHER FOR KENYA: AGREEMENT ON THE PRINCIPLES OF PARTNERSHIP OF THE COALITION GOVERNMENT.

Preamble:
The crisis triggered by the 2007 disputed presidential election 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 forward 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 all.
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 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.

Comments

Let’s thank God for the compromise and keep praying for our nation to heal from this nightmare

Rev. Abel Oriri

 

This is day-light conmanship. It is an agreement that has been forced on the people. I am not in any way saying that Mwai Kibaki’s government enjoyed the support of all Kenyans, but then again no government in the world enjoys a hundred percent support of its citizens. In fact the most successful democracies are those where the opposition controls half the population with the other half suppporting government (and that is the case in Kenya).

The US which was the force behind this dictatorship has itself been involved in electoral disputes. Look at it this way: George Bush lost the 2000 election to Albert Gore, or so most Americans believe. Should Al Gore and Bill Clinton have mobilized militia groups and urged them to go on the rampage so that George Bush agrees to share power with them? This is inexcusable. There are proper conflict resolution and arbitration mechanisms and structures like electoral courts that ought to be followed.

Smply put, we have set a very bad precedence.

Posted by Victor | Report as abusive
 

The bad precedent this election has set is the following: Kibaki is being rewarded after having clearly stolen the election from Raila Odinga.

I have read far and wide on the subject of Kenya Election 2007. There is simply not one, yes, not a single scholar or commentator of African or Kenyan politics, and for that matter not a single election observer, African or Western, who participated in the election who believes that Kibaki won the election.

The unanimous verdict is that Kibaki staged a post-election civilian coup d’Etat.

Posted by Eric Otiende | Report as abusive
 

The kenyan agreement we saw yesterday was long overdue. Kenyans had long standing issues that needed to be resolved long time ago. We have passed first and second liberation witnessed in the 90′s so that Kenya is properly governed.

Kenyans from all corners would love to see equal distribution of resources. The British call it “the cake” divided to all Kenyans.

Kenyan Somalis need the Government to invest in long term development under a Master plan to make North Eastern Province at par with other provinces of Kenya.

We need schools, hospitals and government resources near the people.

 

I only have one thing to say: the loud mouth carries the day. We do’nt know who said the truth on both sides. Only the ballot box knows. If I shout in the street enough that someone has stolen from me and the accused shuts up, everyone beleives me. It does not mean that I might not have lied, to achieve a certain end, of course.

That said, it does not matter. The country cannot stop, we must grow, earn, eat and thank God for giving us the peace we prayed for with such sorrow.

Posted by Tony Kham | Report as abusive
 

The people of Kenya know that President Kibaki stole their right, destroyed the hitherto fledging structures of democracy and bludgeoned and killed hundreds of terribly disgusted electorate who were determined to get him out of power. We shall get a new constitution and go for elections with a new electoral machinery. The people of Kenya shall win this time round.

We shall get rid of the shameless exclusionists and purge them from public services for good. We shall reign in on the business that is funding these heinious crimes against the people of Kenya. We did not want the PM post but to return power back to the people. It shall happen.

Posted by Mosin | Report as abusive
 

I am a Kikuyu from the Rift Valley. I have suffered directly from the violence that followed the stolen election. I wish to advise all Kikuyus who do not live in the diaspora to keep away from the politics and problems that befall The Rift Valley people. We understand our problems and local solutions should suffice.

We, Kikuyus in the diaspora, have suffered alot from the actions of our people in Central Kenya. They have never known what we go through. We want to advise Kibaki to keep off the Rift Valley as we try to sort out our issues locally. We do not want solutions from Muranga and Nyeri power brokers. We are tired. This is the last time we in the diaspora are voting blindly with our people in Central Province. We must be left to blend and work with other communities of Rift Valley for the sake of our children.

Posted by Andrew Ngumba | Report as abusive
 

The land issues in Rift Valley are embedded in historical injustices and theft of land by the Kenyatta regime and giving to Kikuyus. We now expect (not expected) our lands in Rift Valley to revert back to us when the colonial settlers left Kenya. As long as this is swept under the carpet, the thieves shall never enjoy the use of ‘their private property’ in Rift Valley. It will erupt again, this time with devastating consequences. They should know this. The world should know this too.

Posted by Ngetich Joseph | Report as abusive
 

Jomo Kenyatta was Kenya’s first president – Editor

Posted by John Chiahemen | Report as abusive
 

The political angle has been solved partly by this signing. However, the land and economic issues must be tackled steadfastly. These are injustices perpetrated by the previous regimes. We have seen banks coming up to economically empower the Kikuyu community. This is being watched by the young generation who are now sensitized and know and understand their rights as Kenyans. Ethnic hatred among the peoples of Kenya, especially by the elite and economically mighty Kikuyu is preached that other tribes of Kenya are not fit to rule Kenya. Unless this is resolved at that level there will still be problems in future.

The violence that erupted was pressure and steam that had been building up like a volcano. The gap between the poor and the rich, the haves and the have-nots, is so hideously big while livelihood commodities are packaged the same – the have-nots cannot afford. Like the French Revolution, they did not need anyone to tell them what to do, that is why it spread like a bush fire. Those putting blame on the politicians are malicious, except for those who funded and organised militias (Mungiki) to counteract the rioters.

Lastly, truth must come out, repentence is by the offending party coming out and telling the truth. Once you know the truth then you can forgive, otherwise what are you forgiving? Kivuitu and those that used Excel to balance the votes at KICC (electoral headquarters) should come out and repent. Kenyans are a forgiving lot and they will forgive him. For if he had stood his ground, chaos would not have taken place in Kenya. The buck stops at Samuel Kivuitu – Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya.

Posted by Nelson N. Lugania | Report as abusive
 

First and most important, I am thankful for the signing of the power-sharing deal and the peace, calm and reassurance it has brought back. Honestly, I could have cared less what was in the document, just as long as it brought back the peace that we have missed and been praying for so much. Thursday 28th February will forever be embedded in my heart and mind as the day that God gave Kenya another chance; the day that our leaders came to their senses and decided to put my (the common mwanachi) interests and welfare before their political ambitions.

The deal has a chance to work, a very BIG chance, but it needs the participation and acceptance of EVERYONE in both parties, supporters and leaders alike. We’ve gone through a lot as a country in the past 2 months or so, we need to gang up together, to make the deal work. We have to, we have no other choice.

But I have to say this, am sick and tired of people (read mostly politicians) using the phrase “Kenyans are tired of ….” or “the people of Kenya want…” or for that matter “Kenyans whatever….” Which Kenyans are you talking about? Don’t take the opinions of just your close friends and family and label them Kenyans, they should not pretend to talk on my behalf to further their ideals.

Posted by Lu | Report as abusive
 

This is just correct the article “Kenya parties agree constitution road map” posted on 4 March.
Dorothy Angote is not a vice minister for justice but rather a Permanent Secretary in the ministry.

that the two parties agreed is great news but let us all kenyans honestly support themin their endavours to make Kenya a nation it has been a long time for the Kenyan state having many nations since 1963 maybe it is time this generation changed that.

Posted by solomon ndungu | Report as abusive
 

It’s not possible to host two bulls in one shed.The famous Swahili saying spells it all… We are not an experimental ground. Try it with Obama and Clinton in America.

Posted by Akash Thika | Report as abusive
 

Kenya defines diversity — in landscape; in wildlife; and in people. Kenya is a much bigger country than it might seem, because it contains so much, and because it is “The Light of Africa.” The peoples of Kenya are entrusted with a treasure of immeasurable value.

It greatly saddens many people all over the world to see the peoples of Kenya resort to violence against their friends and neighbors to address long-held and simmering grievances. One is reminded of the U. S. Civil War in the 1860′s, when brother fought brother across the divide of economic interest and moral right. In that case, the United States was devastated, and took decades to recover. We still show scars of that schism.

Kenyans may now feel spiteful, and that the only justice is “An eye for an eye.” That path can only lead to the entire country being blinded.

With this compromise agreement between Kibaki and Odinga, Kenyans now have the opportunity, and perhaps a moral obligation, to come together, to visualize a future of hope and fairness for all.

We in the U.S. seem now to be looking to a son of Kenya, Barack Obama, to help us achieve change for the better in our country. We know that our country is far from perfect. Many of us wanted to riot when George W. Bush stole the election from Al Gore, but we did not. Now, eight years later, we hope to begin making amends for that sad time.

I join with many, many people all over the world that fervently hope that Kenyans can find a peaceful way to turn back on the light.

Posted by Mark Clark | Report as abusive
 

SOMETHING LOOMING?
“Greedy politicians, we need peace…”

In the dirty game of politics, THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS? This is the common man’s view. I think it is not about Kibaki or Raila..It is all about Kenyan politicians. They have under-estimated our intelligence! The new tactics by the insatiable Kenyan politicians to use the public as weapons for their political goals is NOT only uncouth but also unacceptable in modern society. This is worsened by our “KIITIKIO”(Redycullus) anthem. The approach is dangerous for a country of over forty dialects AND VARYING RELIGIONS. Democracies settle their political differences with the ballot box because it is the only way in which winners and losers emerge without physical injuries. Violence is an option reserved for those who wish to live in misery. War is a filthy act in which all warring parties lose.
It is now clear that the average Kenyan politician remains in parliament for half a century before the unavoidable death paves the way for his great grand children as “future generations”. Before you oppose my opinions tell me when you started hearing about Francis baya,G G Kariuki, Nyachae, Yusuf Haji, Saitoti, Mudavadi’s, Kibaki, Odinga’s and the rest of the fleet who have replaced their fathers.

These honorable members have forgotten Kenya’s history because they are actually living museums to be studied in school. They have forgotten that Kenyan communities have co-habited centuries peacefully before their arrival. Kenyans have been wrongly intimidated even before colonial rule. We have faced the brutality of the Portuguese monsters, powerlessly tolerated the heartless, religion less Arab human traffickers such as seyyid Barghash who sold us for pennies to white farmers. British colonialist have used the new divide and rule tact that they are trying to prescribe.

I have gone into history in an attempt to visualize exactly what has forced our consistently directionless politicians into the current stalemate! POWER, POWER! The power to misappropriate public funds and suppress freedom. What else would we expect from a parliament that votes unanimous and beyond party lines for increased allowances but differs when called upon to end clashes?

To all real Kenyans,they are asking for your blood now! Be at peace with your neighbors, majority rule is the only solution to the politically instigated nightmare! We are the majority. Parliament is our real Enemy(All parties)…If we do not fight,,they have no agenda.

A A Yunis

Posted by A A YUNIS | Report as abusive
 

“We have paid a price, we cannot pay again”

Alas! at last there was deal. I took time to see how the coalition shapes itself after the murky deal. Thing have not been right so far, power sharing was a mirage not real.

ODM was quick to cry foul, The government appointment & other portfolios were not shared equally as people had anticipated.Indeed it took long to have the present bloated cabinate. The civil service appointment is mared by controversy the head of state seems not to be consulting on the said positions.Was the deal shelfed to gather dust? Corruption is eating back , other shading deals are being unfolded. Transition Justice Question is still unattended to since Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission Bill, 2008 is very pathetic. Past ills have never be resolved, these ills are economic crimes ,land grabbing , human rights violations(torture and murders/assinations) during colonial time ,Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel T. Moi Era.)

Probably an Audit should be carrried out atleast by February next year, so that Kenyan could take not of gains and misharps.

Political parties are now busing doing hosue keeping. It is also time that we audit the coalition partners Mr. Emilio M. Kibaki and Raila A. Odinga. Let Kenyans interrogate the two principals on how far we come, done , and what is remaining to be done?

Kenya has bled enough. Our siblings , children , parents have died in the struggles fighting draconian regimes, Thde last electoral contest bore the worst post election violence in Kenyan history. It is true that last electoral process was marred by theft ,rigging &out right voter bribery etc.

Perhaps this why the economic imbalances , land issues must be addressed, to avert another crisis. From a different spectacle succesion war has began in earnest, it should not be let to be another recipe for chaos.

“We have paid a price, we cannot pay again”

Posted by David Oburu | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •