Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cabinet talks collapse

Why do the rich men in Kiambu refuse to dine at home?

Well, we gave him benefit of the doubt. But just like the goodwill he had on that muddy morning in Uhuru park, he quickly squandered it. Let's face it; who are we kidding? Were we really expecting Bandit President Kibaki to change? Did we expect that just this once, he was going to put the interests of 30 million Kenyans before his own personal myopic ambition?

As it were, we're back to square one. It is now proven that Kibaki never really had the intention of following through the National Accord. Some commentators have suggested that all he wanted was to chill the temperatures to the point where the Safaricon IPO would be allowed to take off, then resort to his old tactics and status quo. I think they have been proved right. Fresh disagreements between PNU and ODM have now erupted over the interpretation of the coalition agreement, dashing hope of a unity Cabinet being established.

The widening gulf between the two sides became obvious in tense statements read out by Bandit President Kibaki and Prime Minister designate Raila Odinga after a day of frantic consultations between the two sides. Not only did the two sides differ over distribution of key ministries, but they could not agree on whether the negotiations should include appointments of the head of the civil service and top civil servants, diplomats and parastatal bosses, among other things.

Raila, giving his version of events which led to the talks breakdown, said that he and President Kibaki had agreed on the distribution of portfolios last Thursday, but the deal was suddenly cancelled. Flanked by top ODM politicians, Raila told reporters: “To overcome this terrible impasse and another looming crisis, our side has gone many extra miles and made an extraordinary number of concessions...This latest crisis in portfolio balance captures the astonishing lengths PNU is willing to go to ensure that it continues to monopolise power.” Ending his address, he said: “We are committed to the full and speedy implementation of the National Accord to resolve the crisis gripping our country.”