Pages

Loading...

Monday, February 11, 2008

No power-sharing, says Alfred Ng'ang'a Mutua

- Govt admits ECK messed up polls
- Says corruption still endemic
- ODM officials face arrest over mass murder


KAMPALA

PRESIDENT Mwai Kibaki has ruled out the possibility of sharing political power with Opposition leader Raila Odinga, with his spokesman saying that would be “unconstitutional”. “I don’t foresee power-sharing because that would be unconstitutional,” the Kenya government spokesman, Dr Alfred Mutua, said on Thursday.

In an interview with 93.3 KFM’s Hot Seat programme, Dr Mutua said for Mr Kibaki’s Party of National Unity to share power with the Orange Democratic Movement leaders would be tantamount to allowing the Opposition party to “eat the piece of the cake that does not belong to one”. Added Dr Mutua: “You cannot have more than one President in a country. Mr Kibaki was validly elected and legally sworn in. He is the people’s choice and [at least] 102 leaders across the world have recognised him as the [duly elected] President of Kenya.”

In a follow-up interview yesterday afternoon, Dr Mutua said that the position of executive Prime Minister that ODM was clamouring for does not exist in the country’s legal framework and would necessitate a constitutional amendment to provide for it. Various leaders, among them Ugandan President Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame, have in past weeks suggested that ODM leaders be absorbed in the Kibaki government to end the violence that has so far killed more than 1,000 and displaced another 300,000 Kenyans.

Dr Mutua accused ODM politicians of “greed, ignorance about democratic practice and plotting ethnic cleansing” against Mr Kibaki’s Kikuyu kinsmen and women. It was not immediately clear what the import of such declarations would be on the on-going mediation efforts led by ex-UN chief Kofi Annan. Dr Mutua, however, reluctantly accepted proposals for an international inquiry into the disputed results of the December 27 poll that controversially returned Mr Kibaki to State House. “If anyone wants to come in and re-tally the results, we have no problem,” he said.

Giving an account of events in the run-up to the official declaration of the election results, Dr Mutua said ODM leaders initially sought and were granted a vote recount for 16 hours after they alleged electoral theft. That exercise, he said, gave victory to Mr Kibaki, something that infuriated the Opposition politicians to allegedly incite violence. The spokesman also admitted that the Electoral Commission of Kenya grossly mismanaged the vote tally process.“The ECK failed in its central duty,” he said. “It is not excusable.” This indictment, which forms the basis of ODM contention that the party’s presidential victory was after all “stolen”, is but just one of the confusing litany of public statements by Kenyan officials on the elections. ECK Chairman Samuel Kivuitu started it all in early January when he told the media in Kenya that he was not sure who had won the presidential election.

In the same radio interview, Dr Mutua said that the US and Canadian governments had blacklisted some ODM officials for instigating “ethnic cleansing” and slapped a travel ban on them. He said the culprits could be named as early as next week and then be arrested to face prosecution at the International Criminal Court at The Hague. On charges of extra-judicial killings levelled against the police by human rights groups, Dr Mutua said an independent international panel would be constituted to establish the facts and those found to have shot dead protestors would be tried for murder. “Yes, police killed people to stop them from killing others but let us have an international inquiry to find out who planned the ethnic cleansing,” he said.

The government publicist, who was in Uganda on a two-day charm offensive, conceded that graft had remained endemic in the public sector during Mr Kibaki’s first 5-year tenure in spite of serious government efforts to end the vice.

Meanwhile, the Kenya London News reported that several Kenyans marched to the Ugandan High Commission in London yesterday afternoon to protest what they termed as interference by Uganda in Kenyan matters. Protestor Ronald Onyango is quoted to have said: “It is sad that Uganda which has enjoyed cordial relations with Kenya from time immemorial should be the one to promote chaos in Kenya. What President Museveni is doing is not only breaking the International rules on sovereignty but biting the hand that feeds him. Let him respect our borders and the lives of Kenyans, his short sightedness will undermine the very principle of the proposed East African Community.”

Repeated talk that Ugandan security is involved in Kenya on Mr Kibaki’s side have been dismissed by the Ugandan government, the Kenyan government and by ODM, which was the first group to raise the issue.

No comments: