// A PEACE DEAL AT LAST!
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Halima
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« on: Feb 29, 2008 11:41 AM »


A peace deal at last

Story by ERIC SHIMOLI and LUCAS BARASA
Publication Date: 2/29/2008

President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga Thursday signed a historic agreement to end Kenya’s post-election political crisis.

On the threshold of history, Mr Odinga and Mr Kibaki. Photo/ NATION Correspondent
Under the deal brokered by chief mediator Kofi Annan and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, the leaders agreed to form a coalition government which will radically alter the way Kenya will be governed .

Mr Odinga is almost certain to become independent Kenya’s second prime minister after Mzee Jomo Kenyatta who held the post at independence in 1963.

Thursday’s agreement, which came after two days of intense diplomatic activity states that the post of Prime Minister will be created to co-ordinate and supervise affairs of Government. The premier will be leader of the largest party or coalition in Parliament.

Nominate deputy PM

According to the deal, both PNU and ODM will each nominate a deputy prime minister, who together with the premier, can only be removed from office through a vote of no-confidence in Parliament.

Immediately after signing the agreement, President Kibaki and Mr Odinga said they will work together to ensure that the new deal succeeds.

President Kibaki announced that the State opening of Parliament will be on Thursday, March 6, to begin the process of converting the agreement into law.

Addressing a press conference after the two leaders signed the pact, Mr Annan announced that he will reconvene the mediation talks Friday to debate how the long-term issues will be resolved. The talks were suspended on Tuesday after the negotiators failed to agree on a power sharing formula.

Mr Annan later said he decided to move the talks to President Kibaki and Mr Odinga because there was mistrust among the PNU and ODM negotiators that were hampering the talks. “The leaders were easier to deal with and they were the only ones capable of taking bold decisions to move forward,” he said.

In an interview with the Nation and NTV, Mr Annan said the mistrust had built over time... the men and women in the two teams had at one time worked together and betrayed each other.

He was full of praise for the African Union chairman, Tanzanian President Kikwete, who travelled to Nairobi to help in the mediation effort.

And in a statement released by the British High Commission in Nairobi, British premier Gordon Brown described the deal as a “triumph for Kenya and Kenyans.”

Under the deal, 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 will be subject to consultation and concurrence in writing by the leaders.

It also states that the composition of the coalition government will at all times take into account the principle of portfolio balance and will reflect each party’s 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 agreement, signed on the steps of the entrance to the Office of the President in Harambee House, was witnessed by President Kikwete and Mr Annan.

The post of prime minister was briefly held by Mzee Kenyatta after independence in 1963, until the country became a republic and the post was abolished and Kenyatta became Kenya’s first President.

Disputed election

And for the first time since the disputed presidential election results were announced on December 30, 2007, Mr Odinga referred to the Head of State as “President Kibaki”.

With the agreement signed, Kenyans finally got the breakthrough they had been praying for in the two months since violence broke out after the disputed presidential elections. Over 1,010 people were killed in the violence while another 350,000 were displaced. But Special Programmes minister Naomi Shabaan has since said that the numbers had reduced to about 120,000 people.

Under  the new deal, parties already in Government will now be joined by ODM in a new coalition. The announcement, broadcast live on national television, sparked celebrations in some parts of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret among other major towns.

Speaking after the signing, President Kibaki thanked the international community for their efforts and support for Kenyans to reach an agreement.

He said that the Government will help those whose houses were burnt to resettle on their farms.

Mr Odinga said that in the last two months, Kenya had received more publicity in the international media more than it had done in the last 45 years.

“It has been a story of sadness. In the last two months, Kenyans have known nothing but sadness.,” Mr Odinga said.

But he added that the crisis had taught Kenyans to forge the firm foundations for a strong, united and prosperous nation.
 
http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/nmgcontententry.asp?category_id=1&newsid=117938

For us in Kenya, we say, ALHAMDU LILLAH!!!!


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When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #1 on: Feb 29, 2008 11:45 AM »

Annan steers rivals to end crisis

Published on February 29, 2008, 12:00 am

By Martin Mutua and Alex Ndegwa

DR Kofi Annan ended two days of intense shuttle diplomacy with the announcement that a deal had been struck.

The former UN Secretary-General, who spoke from the staircase of the Office of the President at Harambee House soon after witnessing the signing of the deal between President Kibaki and ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga, said they had agreed to the creation of the post of an executive Prime Minister.

He outlined the job description of the PM’s office, saying the bearer would co-ordinate and supervise the Cabinet as well as the execution of the functions and affairs of government, including those of ministries and government departments.

Mrs Ida Odinga congratulates her husband, ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga at the Pentagon House in Nairobi, on Thursday. Picture: Moses Omusula
The UN-backed mediator, who chairs the Panel of Eminent African Persons, also announced that the protagonists had agreed to the creation of the positions of two deputy Prime Ministers. The two positions will be shared by PNU and ODM.

In his outline, Annan stated that the PM shall be an elected MP who will also be the parliamentary leader of the political party that has the largest number of members in Parliament.

The PM shall also come from a coalition of political parties in the event that the leader of the political party that has the largest number of MPs does not command the majority in the House, the documents adds.

The PM and the two deputies shall only be removed from office through a vote of no confidence by Parliament, if the coalition is dissolved or if one of the members in the coalition withdraws by a resolution of the highest decision making organ of that party in writing.

Annan noted that the deal will be sealed through an Act of Parliament and will be passed by the House through constitutional amendments when the Tenth Parliament convenes on Thursday for official opening.

The agreement is what the ODM team had put on the mediation table since the talks began under the chairmanship of Annan at the Serena Hotel.

On Thursday, Annan noted that as was the case in any negotiations, there was give and take, adding that compromise was necessary for the sake of uniting the country.

“It is a foundation for reconciliation that aims at restoring Kenya to the rightful place,” he added.

Annan said he would reconvene the mediation talks this morning to continue with agenda number four, which comprises long term issues such as comprehensive constitutional reforms, poverty and the land issue.

He reiterated that he was committed to ensuring that the mediation team continued its work to a logical conclusion.

“The journey is far from over. It is just beginning and the challenge is to President Kibaki and Honourable Raila Odinga to reconcile and heal the nation now,” he added.

Annan noted that the work of nation healing and reconstruction should, however, not be left to the leaders alone and appealed to all Kenyans to support the process.

African Union Chairman and Tanzanian President, Mr Jakaya Kikwete, praised the power sharing deal as “historic”, but cautioned that the greatest task lay ahead.

He said the challenge was for both parties to ensure that the accord was implemented.

Commitment to deal

Kikwete, who started his address with the much-awaited declaration that “at long last we have a deal”, urged PNU and ODM to ensure that the deal succeeded to help the people return to their normal life.

“Appending signatures will mean nothing if there is no commitment to ensure that what is agreed upon is implemented,” Kikwete said at Office of the President at Harambee House on Thursday moments after President Kibaki and Mr Raila Odinga signed the deal to end the political crisis.

Kikwete appealed for political will for it could “make or break” the agreement.

He also urged the international community and supporters of both parties to support the deal. The latter, Kikwete said, might have had certain expectations, but he exhorted Kenyans to appreciate what had been agreed upon.

“The deal was a give-and-take affair. I know some wished to get more, but what you got is the best under the circumstances,” he said.

Kikwete opened the address by saying: “At long last, we have an agreement that ensures the historical accident that happened in Kenya can now be a thing of the past.”

He congratulated the Panel of Eminent Persons, led by former UN Secretary-General, Dr Kofi Annan, for their “tireless efforts”.

He also thanked PNU and ODM negotiating teams, noting that their task in hammering out an agreement had not been easy.

“Their sweat and toil has been rewarded handsomely,” Kikwete said.

Meanwhile, Britain and the US hailed the power-sharing agreement reached between Kibaki and Raila.

British Prime Minister, Sir Gordon Brown said: “Kenya’s leaders have reached a power-sharing agreement that represents a triumph for peace and diplomacy, and a renunciation of the violence that has scarred a country of such enormous potential. The Kenyan people have the outcome for which they have hoped and prayed.”

Brown lauded move and praised the two leaders for their courageous decision.

“I applaud the courage that Kenya’s leaders have shown in taking the tough decisions necessary to put Kenya back on the path to the prosperity, democracy and stability which it is so richly deserves.”

US State Department Spokesman, Mr Tom Casey, emphasised on the significance of the agreement and relayed his country’s appreciation of the step the leaders had taken.

“That’s an important and very positive step forward. We are very pleased to see that this agreement has been reached. It allows the Kenyan people to move forward with a very basic issue of governance,” he said.

“We want to see this agreement implemented ... We certainly appreciate the good will shown by President Kibaki and Mr Odinga in reaching this agreement. We hope that everyone associated with their political parties would work with them to support this deal and move it forward,” he added.

http://www.eastandard.net/news/?id=1143982560&cid=4



The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #2 on: Feb 29, 2008 11:50 AM »

Slm Sister Halima, Aldumdulillah, we are glad to hear that the matter in Kenya may be close to finalisation.  You are always in our Duahs Insha Allah.

R
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