Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Kibaki should catalyse reforms instead of protesting USA travel Ban
The two conflicting views on travel ban coming from the President and the Prime Minister who are partners in the grand coalition government shows that one faction is for reforms and another ardent protectors of the status quo. The two leaders must take full responsibility for failing to provide direction in the reform process instead of duelling on empty rhetoric. If the Prime Minister is for reforms, he should avoid portraying himself as Mr. clean, when he is part and parcel of the grand coalition government. He should instead tell Kenyans and world what he has done individually to catapult reforms in the Country. His recent speech in Harvard University , where he supported the USA ’s travel ban on government officials convinced the world that it’s the government that is behind the delay to bring about reforms in Kenya . It also showed a fatigued reform process and a disoriented government that lacks operational uniformity. President Kibaki should also tell us why the government has failed to implement the reforms Kenyans desperately need to pave the way for smooth running of the country’s social, economic and political affairs. The protest letter to Washington portrays Kibaki as a leader hell-bent on protecting few individuals and not the interests of the masses; the bulky of those who have been voting for him to public office for many decades. We want him to focus on the wellbeing of the Kenyan people and their future but not the interests of power barons. It would have made sense if the President stated in the protest letter, the reasons for procrastinating reforms instead of just criticizing Washington ’s travel ban on government officials. Kenyans will support any external pressure if it will compel the government to implement the reforms the nation desperately need. In fact, the USA has made a positive step and it will be fair if other Western powers especially the EU took similar steps. The president his Vice, the Prime Minister and his deputies all should suffer the travel ban because its them who are in the seats of power but are impediments to the reform process. Our leaders likes being pushed from outside in order to implement reforms. It’s the pressure from outside that compelled former President Moi to accept the reintroduction of multiparty democracy in the early 1991. Kenyans remember the activities of former ambassadors of Germany , Berndth Muzelberg and the late Smith Hemsptone of the United States in the reform process in Kenya . Indeed, Kibaki and Raila were pushed externally to agree on power sharing as a result of former US Secretary of State; Condy Rice’s terse statement in Nairobi last year. It’s sad that after one and a half years of the grand coalition government, the nation is still at limbo on meaningful reforms especially Agenda Four of the National Accord. We are shocked on the president’s swift response on Washington ’s ban on government officials when he his known to be silent on issues that require urgent response especially those that affect the lives of millions of Kenyans. Why has kept silent on the Ringera circus as well as the trial of the Masterminds of post election violence and now wants to defend a few individuals in the grand coalition government who are likely to be personal non grata in the USA ? Finally, it’s imperative that Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki played pivotal roles to catalyse reforms in Kenya failure to which, we shall conclude that they are the biggest impediments to realize this end.