Kenya: Maathai Unhappy With Kibaki Team
The East African Standard (Nairobi)
21 January 2008
Posted to the web 21 January 2008
Nobel Peace Laureate, Prof Wangari Maathai, has dismissed the mediation team led by Vice-President, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, saying it will not solve the political impasse.
Maathai said unless President Kibaki and the ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga, came together and dialogued, the current political turmoil would continue to rock the nation.
“Kalonzo was a competitor with Raila. I do not think the ODM leader will listen to him. What will Kalonzo tell Raila or his lieutenants when they perceive him as the person who undermined their journey to leadership?” asked Maathai.
The former Tetu MP said Kibaki should take the negotiations seriously.
“It is important for the President to come out and meet Raila. Kenya is bleeding and people are suffering,” said Maathai.
Maathai also asked Kibaki to embrace the mediators so as to end the current political crisis, which has led to the deaths of hundreds and displacement of thousands.
President Kibaki last week moved to quell the political turmoil by forming a 10-member team to spearhead national political dialogue and reconciliation.
“Why is Kibaki not ready to meet Raila? After all Raila campaigned for him in 2002 and I believe they can still sit down and talk. What is too difficult for the two to talk about?” posed Wangari.
In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Standard, Maathai said the chaos and misunderstandings that Kenya was witnessing started in 2003 over the broken Memorandum of Understanding.
“In 2003, I warned the leaders, that their misunderstandings would lead to something bigger, but they did not listen. I was a lone ranger and now this is the result,” said Maathai.
“I am now urging the international community to put pressure on President Kibaki and his Government, without which innocent Kenyans will continue to suffer,” she said.