ODM reads mischief in Muthaura’s comments
Published on March 11, 2008, 12:00 am
By Ayub Savula
ODM has reacted sharply to a statement by Head of Civil Service, Mr Francis Muthaura, on the power deal between President Kibaki and the party leader, Mr Raila Odinga.
In a statement read by former Cabinet minister, Dr Amukowa Anangwe, the party termed Muthaura’s interpretation of the accord as “mischievous and unacceptable and must be rejected by all Kenyans”.
“Any statement clarifying, interpreting or explaining the content of the National Accord must be jointly released by the two principals — Kibaki and Raila,” he added.
Speaking at a news conference, which Pentagon members were not allowed to attend, the leaders maintained that the agreement provides for a 50-50 power-sharing formula.
They said that power sharing would be at two levels — the Cabinet and the Government, which includes the Civil Service and parastatals.
Kitui Central MP, Mrs Charity Ngilu, arrived at Pentagon House to attend the conference, but a secretariat official blocked her, saying she was too senior to address the matter.
ODM said the agreement also provides for the composition of the coalition Government according to parties’ parliamentary strength.
They said portfolio balance would be ensured in top appointments.
“Any other interpretation of the National Accord undermining, circumventing or delaying its ratification, in both spirit and letter, is mischievous, unacceptable and must be rejected by all Kenyans,” said the statement.
The party said the structure of the grand coalition Government was being worked on, and it was Kibaki and Raila who would make it public.
“Kenyans have begun the slow process of healing, reconciliation and rebuilding their shattered lives. They will not accept to be dragged back to the period of mayhem, violence and disruption by retrogressive forces bent on resisting change,” added the statement.
“For avoidance of doubts, the National Accord provides that the Prime Minister shall have authority to co-ordinate and supervise the execution of the functions and affairs of the Government, including those of ministries.”
ODM Communications Director, Mr Salim Lone, and several party officials and former MPs attended the news conference.
They said two Bills had been published and would be tabled in Parliament for debate this week, and their enactment would entrench the National Accord into laws.
“People have expressed their support for real power-sharing as provided for in the accord,” said Anangwe.
He said ODM and PNU were in the process of ratifying the accord through Parliament, and they were doing so as equal partners.
Anangwe said the deal reflects the goodwill of the parties’ leadership and wananchi.
The ODM leaders said they were shocked by Muthaura’s statement, which they said threatened national healing.