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KIBAKI GIVES CONDITIONS FOR TALKS

Tutu: Kibaki ready for coalition

Published on January 5, 2008, 12:00 am

By Lucianne Limo and Mutinda Manzia

President Kibaki is willing to form a coalition government only if the opposition met his terms to end the post-election violence.

Retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who met Kibaki at State House, Nairobi, Friday, said the president was open to a coalition government if the opposition accepted that there was a governing authority.

Tutu is positive that Kibaki and ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga, are each committed to ending the post-election violence.

Speaking during a press conference at Serena Hotel Friday, Tutu assured Kenyans that the two leaders were willing to negotiate to restore sanity.

Even though the two parties had set conditions for negotiation, Tutu said, he was hopeful that peace would prevail.

“There is hope for peace since ODM and the Government are open to possibilities for negotiation,” he said.

The Archbishop addressed the press after a three-hour meeting with the President and some ministers, to end the standoff.

The Nobel Laureate also held similar consultative meetings with the European Union.

The All African Council of Churches had invited Tutu to lead a delegation to mediate between the political adversaries to restore peace.

Tutu, who returned to South Africa yesterday, also met ODM-Kenya leader, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka. Kalonzo said dialogue among leaders was vital for the nation.

Tutu assured Kenyans that peace would prevail, saying the country was not on the brink of a military coup.

He said the two leaders had no option, but to work out their differences to restore peace.

He said those suffering most were women and children.

“I am yearning for a peaceful solution to the stalemate,” said Tutu.

“Our hope is that that Kenyans will seek each other out. We hope that political groupings will realise that their own prosperity and continued existence depend on reaching out to each other,” he said.

Tutu said the President assured him that once Parliament re-opens; the Government would reach out to other parties to find a solution.

But the Archbishop asked the Government to initiate the process even before Parliament re-opens.

Meanwhile, the Anglican Church wants an independent commission set up to recount and re-tally the election votes.

Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi said it was the only remedy for peace.

The Church, Nzimbi said, was offering to mediate between the Government and the ODM leaders.
“Kenya is greater than any of us, and our individual ambitions. The peace of Kenya is of paramount importance,” said Nzimbi.

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About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.

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