KENYA: Annan rules out going back to National Accord

By Standard Team

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has ruled out renegotiating the National Accord as demanded by ODM.

Dr Annan said there would be no renegotiation of the document that created power sharing between President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga after the disputed 2007 presidential election.

"I read about renegotiations in the newspapers but nobody has invited me to do the work," Annan told a news conference at the Bank of Tanzania Conference Center in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, yesterday.

Annan challenged leaders to put aside their ambitions for 2012 poll.

He clarified that the Geneva talks at the end of this month would be purely to learn lessons from the Kenyan experience in the crisis and had nothing to do with renegotiating the National Accord.

He also expressed confidence that the Coalition Government would hold despite some difficulties. Annan urged Kenya to focus on reforms to tackle corruption and lack of transparency.

"Yes, the coalition in Kenya is going through some hiccups and difficulties, but I expect it to hold," he said.

He added: "What they have to do is to focus on reforms and to tackle corruption and enhance transparency … which will restore their trust."

Kenya ranks a lowly 147 out of 190 countries on Transparency International's 2008 corruption perception index.

Separately, ODM ministers have said they will not quit the coalition in response to a dare by PNU colleagues. Deputy PM and Finance Minister Musalia Mudavadi also said reported political alliances between leaders in ODM and PNU were premature.

Mr Mudavadi said leaders should focus on issues facing the country such as hunger and unemployment.

Bad blood

"It is simplistic for leaders to engage in such high voltage politics when the country is undergoing difficult economic times," he said.

Mudavadi said calls for ODM to quit the coalition were mere political hype. He dispelled claims that there was bad blood between politicians from the Rift Valley and other ODM strongholds.

"Those saying the party was headed for a split are doomed. What we are experiencing are only diverse political opinions," he said.

Separately, Public Works Minister Chris Obure and Regional Development Minister Fred Gumo also dismissed those asking the ODM team to quit the coalition.

At the weekend, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta challenged the ODM wing to quit Government if they were not satisfied in the coalition. And Nairobi Metropolitan Minister Mutula Kilonzo dismissed the ODM team as serial complainers.

The Standard

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