Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Grand Regency Saga

That part of the Kibaki government was party to the Grand Regency Hotel's illegal tranfer to Libya, reminds all Kenyan's of age of the Goldenberg Scandal. This transfer will sound like a fairy tale to Mzee Moi who never trusted the Libyans.That President Kibaki transferred a prime piece of property to Gadafi behind the Minister of Land's (Mr. James Orengo of ODM) back must be a shocker to Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his ODM Party (The Kenyan Gov't is a coalition one between Kibaki's PNU and ODM). As the details of this scandal unfold, one must wonder whether the Coalition Goverment will survive another year. Competitive politics is about image; and sleeping in the same bed with a corrupt political partner does not go well imagewise with ODM or any other party or individual.

But can ODM bolt out from the coalition? Under ordinary circumstances, the answer should have been yes. But Kenya's current circumstances are not ordinary, they are extraordinary. The 2007/2008 post- election crisis left Kenya wounded in by every measure of governance: belief of Kenyans in their goverment as a protector-of-all is shattered; the economy is ruined; Kenya's international image as a beacon of regional stability dented; Kenya's thin ethnic fabric was exposed and shattered by a crisis that pitted tribe-against-tribe, leading to persons who are permanent refugees in their own country--these are the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Prime Minister Odinga and his ODM Party should stay in the Union with PNU but only for the following reasons: to act as a watchdog from within the government,even if a partially toothless one ; to babysit (alongside sensible individuals from PNU) the constitutional-review process and to negotiate the enactment of the same into law; and lastly to shephered Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) back to their homes through a genuine reconciliation process.

Of the above concerns, I feel most for the IDPs who are still in Refugee Camps, and whose plight must continue to be the concern for every Kenyan of goodwill--a lame President with 4 years to go is not what every Kenyan, and more so, the IDPs needed for their country which is still reeling from the fumbled Presidential Election of late last year. The IDPs are going to be the victims during Grand-Regency Saga. Increasingly, the IDPs must singularly look to ODM to solve their plight because PNU is going to be a party in disarray due to the expected fallout from the Grand-Regency Saga. The government must show goodwill and make it easier for ODM leaders (particularly from the Rift Valley) to be able to do local reconciliation work , by it releasing any youth it is holding for a petty offence from the post-electoral crisis.

JR Alila

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