Annan’s team meets Kivuitu
Published on January 26, 2008, 12:00 am
By David Ohito
Former UN chief Kofi Annan’s mediation team turned focus on meeting leaders and groups who could contribute to helping the team solve the crisis.
Annan, who a day earlier brokered a meeting between Mr Mwai Kibaki and Mr Raila Odinga, on Friday received proposals and reports crucial to the resolution of the disputed presidential poll and widespread violence.
The former UN Secretary General met Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) commissioners led by chairman Mr Samuel Kivuitu.
In the meeting that lasted one hour, Annan’s team and ECK discussed tallying of the controversial presidential results.
Kivuitu took the mediators through the presidential electoral process that culminated in swearing-in of Kibaki as president and eruption of countrywide chaos.
ECK sources said Annan received the reports and asked them questions to fill in gaps, but he did not respond.
The questionable handling of the presidential tallying by Kivuitu has been widely condemned.
Sources say that ECK told Annan that politicians had ignited post-election violence.
Later, Annan team had a session with religious leaders.
The inter-religious forum, including head of the Catholic Church, John Cardinal Njue, head of the Anglican Church Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, Hindu Council of Kenya leader Vanrajsinh Sarvaiya and Supreme Council of Kenya leader Hussein Omar presented proposals.
The religious leaders said they shared with Kibaki and Raila their proposals and urged Annan and team not to leave the country, until a formula for a resolution is found.
Annan told the religious leaders: “Kenyans must discuss how to resolve the problems of violence and come up with solutions.”
“I did not come with a solution but I believe genuine dialogue in good faith would lead us out of the crisis.”
The religious leaders also called for addressing the underlying causes of conflict through the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission.
Mistrust hurting peace process
“There is a need for constitution review to give the nation a legal framework for resolution of conflict,” the Reverend Peter Karanja who read the proposals, said.
The faith based proposals decried mistrust between the two main parties, saying it jeopardises peace.
“We need open dialogue between ODM and PNU and we must address the national degeneration of security,” they said.
The leaders called for an independent commission to probe the electoral process.
They gave a power-sharing proposal in which they want reconstitution of the Cabinet.
He later met Nobel Laureate Prof Wangari Maathai and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka. A final meeting scheduled with former President Moi did not take off.
Annan was flanked at the meetings by his team of eminent persons comprising of former Tanzanian President Mr Benjamin Mkapa and Mrs Graca Machel from Mozambique at the Serena Hotel meetings.
Kalonzo, after meeting Annan, said he impressed on him the need to complete the negotiation as fast as possible.
He told Annan that a Government negotiation team that he leads has been divided into two, with one team to meet ODM while another will meet Annan.
Kalonzo said he told Annan that his group would seek to meet ODM as soon as possible.
Maathai told Annan that whatever agreement the Kibaki and Raila side would arrive at should be made public and constitutionalised to be binding.
“I gave Annan the proposal of power sharing according to the Bomas draft,” said Maathai.
She told Annan to impress Raila and Kibaki the need to show unity to the public so that peace can prevail.
Annan’s team is expected to fly to Nakuru and Eldoret this morning to visit camps of internally displaced persons.