Kofi Annan in Kenya to Review Scorecard on Implementation of Agenda 4

The AU’s Panel of Eminent Persons which brokered the Kenyan coalition government in 2008 started its 4-day mission to Kenya this week and its Chairman, Kofi Annan,  and member former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa have been meeting key officials among them Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Speaker Kenneth Marende. Mrs. Graca Machel is not accompanying the two during this visit.

According to the press release prior to their arrival, the objective of the visit by Mr. Annan and Mr. Mkapa is to give support and encouragement to the Kenyan people and the country’s institutions as Kenya prepares for an important transition in 2013. Their programme will include meetings with Government, independent and constitutional commissions and other major stakeholder groups, including business leaders, civil society, religious leaders, media and the international community.

Meanwhile, earlier today, the Panel expressly rejected a suggestion by TNA aligned MPs who this morning demanded a meeting between their party leader Uhuru Kenyatta, and the Chairman of the African Union Panel of Eminent Persons Mr Kofi Annan. The MPs had said that Mr Annan had so far met the Prime Minister, Mr Raila Odinga, who is one of the favourites to clinch the presidency coming elections yet other frontrunners in the race, such as Mr Kenyatta had not given their input to Mr Annan and his team.

The Panel notes that a group of Parliamentarians have addressed a press conference in Parliament suggesting that the Panel organises additional meetings during its visit to Kenya.

The Panel would like to reiterate that the purpose of its visit on this occasion is to review progress on the implementation of the Constitution and electoral preparedness. This is why the Panel began its visit with requests to meet the two Principals, the Chief Justice and the Speaker of the National Assembly. The Panel is also meeting the Dialogue Team and the agencies central to the full implementation of the Constitution and Kenya’s preparations for elections.

Mr Annan and Mr Mkapa expect to meet the President tomorrow.

In requesting for the meeting, the MPs were implying that Mr. Annan was giving their chief rival undue advantage in the 2013 polls.

The Panel of Eminent Persons is scheduled to meet President Kibaki tomorrow as he has been away attending Uganda’s 50th independence celebrations. It is not known if they will meet the two principals jointly, but the agenda with the president is ‘packed’.

Their final stop is to address an ‘invite only’ international press conference on Thursday morning where they are expected to release a final scorecard on Kenya’s preparedness for a peaceful election next year as well as comment on key pending reform benchmarks among them police reforms. Mr. Odinga is believed to have expressed reservations about unfulfilled reforms and also his concerns about sporadic violence that has erupted in key ODM strongholds in the recent past.

So far the Panel of Eminent Persons has praised the on-going reforms in the judiciary and it remains to be seen how they intend to tackle the rest.

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7 comments on “Kofi Annan in Kenya to Review Scorecard on Implementation of Agenda 4

  1. Kenya: Uhuru Did Wrong to Insult Annan, Mkapa

    COLUMN

    African Eminent Persons Benjamin Mkapa and Kofi Annan on their visit to Kenya last week were snubbed by the President. State House gave many convoluted reasons.

    There might have been a simpler reason. Could it have been because Uhuru’s campaign told State House not to see them? In addition to State House, it was only Uhuru who made comments justifying the snub. Uhuru said Annan and Mkapa were “mere tourists who had no right to meddle in Kenya’s politics”. (The Star, 2 October 2012).

    Uhuru went on, “My focus is on Kenya, the region (East Africa) and the Continent. No Kenyan or African has said Uhuru [Note the third person reference to himself, like Napoleon] should not vie for the presidency, so the rest can stay away if they don’t want to associate with us.” (Daily Nation, 2 October 2012).

    But though Uhuru did not notice it, being too busy choosing which insults to use, Annan and Mkapa are from Africa which he pretends to have a focus on.

    Benjamin Mkapa is a past President of Tanzania. He worked closely for a long time with Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, was a highly respected Foreign Minister and has wide Pan-African experience.

    Kofi Annan is from Ghana, is the immediate past UN Secretary-General as Africa’s nominee, holding that post for two terms by virtue of the continent of Africa’s turn in that post.

    He is the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Uhuru has only denigrated the implementation of African solutions to African problems. Clearly, Uhuru’s ‘focus’ on Africa is mere words.

    Uhuru also threw some stones at the US and the UK. It does not help. Rather we should all remember who had a British MI6 member in his Independence Cabinet for a long time, who abandoned Pan-African policies, who forgot the Mau Mau after 1963, who needed British troops to stay in office, and who grew up as the product of all this. Can such products care about former freedom fighters, East Africa or Africa?

    It is only when the Eminent Persons attacked the Government, that Uhuru’s propaganda outfit attacked the Eminent Persons. Which is that proverb that goes something like this : Kick the dog and you will soon learn who its master is. Did that come into play?

    Has Uhuru’s campaign now become the master of Kenya’s Government in these few remaining months? If so, it explains a lot about what is going on.

    If not, Uhuru had no mandate to speak on the State visitors. He is not the Foreign Minister. Yet Uhuru’s advisers, the oracles of bad manners wanted to tell them off : Uhuru thus said, the past help of Annan and Mkapa does not “give them a ticket to be coming here at will whenever they have no other place to go.” (The Star, 2 Oct 2012).

    Bretton Woods and advisers to the State Department who naively were impressed last year, should now know better where such a Government will stand, and where it is looking for alternatives: (“friends are many” (The Star 2 October 2012 ).

    To run down persons older than oneself and to insult them while they are still within our home as our guests is not African social etiquette.

    Those who insult like this and justify it in the name of Africa are out of the African focus they prattle about. If this is what such individuals do when they have a little power, what will they not do when they have the highest office and power? There is no need to change generations, there is need to change manners.

    After Uhuru has approved the way the President has treated President Mkapa of Tanzania, Uhuru’s purported ‘focus’ on East Africa and the region is mere words.

    It only confirms Tanzania’s suspicions of Kenya’s economic and political intentions of grabbing and acquisition in the East African Community.

    Finally Uhuru says, “We will not allow a group of people to sit in a room and decide who will be president of Kenya.” (Daily Nation 2 October 2012).

    Exactly. That is exactly what the rest of Kenya is saying : We will not allow a small economic and political elite to sit in a room at State House or at a golf club in secret meetings and decide who will be the president of the rest of the Kenya again.

    This small elite has shown continuously that it will never rule in the interests of all Kenyans but only in its own sectoral interests. And Uhuru is their candidate.

    The writer is a lawyer

    http://allafrica.com/stories/201210180180.html

  2. FULL STATEMENT BY AU PANEL OF EMINENT PERSONS
    Serena Hotel Nairobi 11th October 2012

    Mr. Annan Discusses Kenya’s Preparations for the 2013 General Elections

    Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen

    Over the last three days, President Mkapa and I have held a series of constructive meetings with members of the Government and key national agencies. We have listened intently and we have noted the concerns and challenges expressed.

    We have met with the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice, the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Minister of Justice, and members of the Dialogue Team, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution, among others. We have also met with the business community, the media owners, religious leaders and representatives of civil society.

    We also expected to meet the President.

    Our objective has been to observe the progress on the implementation of the reform agenda, and in particular the Constitution, and to support and encourage preparations for Kenya’s elections next year.

    With just a matter of months to go until those elections, Kenya is at one of the most important times in its recent history.

    Let us not forget the significant journey Kenya has travelled in the last five years. Through its new Constitution, Kenya has a clear and agreed framework for a peaceful and prosperous future.

    The country is focused on the next elections.

    The IEBC has an enormous task ahead of it in preparing for and conducting the first elections to be held under the new Constitution.

    In our meetings with the IEBC, it has made clear its first commitment to carrying out its constitutional responsibility to hold a free, fair and credible election on 4 March, 2013. The Panel supports the IEBC as it works towards this objective. We encourage Kenyans and everyone concerned for Kenya’s future to support the IEBC in its important work.

    With regard to voter registration, the issuance of ID cards must be expedited.

    But the responsibility for the conduct of the elections is not the IEBC’s alone. All relevant institutions must be ready to play their expected role.

    The Judiciary, the Parliament, the police and other security agencies, all have critical parts to play.

    The Panel welcomes the steps taken by the Chief Justice to transform the Judiciary. In particular, we welcome his efforts to establish a mechanism that can effectively address disputes that may arise during the elections.

    The Panel urges Parliament to pass the outstanding electoral legislation.

    The Constitution demands the implementation of the gender provision. Parliamentarians have an urgent responsibility to agree the mechanism for this implementation. A failure to do so would deny Kenyan women their right to fully participate in democratic governance. Indeed, it could lead to a Constitutional crisis and leaders must do everything necessary to avoid this outcome.

    The expectations of the Kenyan people on the realisation of the gender provision of the Constitution are very clear. In this matter and others, they want an effective and timely implementation of the Constitution.

    Respect for the rule for law must be paramount at all times.

    With regard to the cases before the ICC, there is only one way ahead. The cases are against individuals and not against any tribe or group. Justice must be done and Kenya is obliged to assist the Court in accordance with the Rome Statue.

    The Panel is deeply concerned by an increase in tensions and violence in the run-up to the elections.

    The violence in Northern Kenya, the Tana River Delta and the Coast region are a cause of great concern. Reports of militia groups re-organising or being created are equally worrying. It is vital that the agreed security sector reforms are carried through and that the Inspector-General of Police is appointed as soon as possible.

    Many other stakeholders also have important roles to play as Kenya prepares for elections.

    The Panel looks forward to the expeditious and effective conclusion of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission’s important work.

    The Panel calls on religious leaders of all faiths to demonstrate strong leadership and to do everything in their power to ensure that Kenya has credible elections. The religious community of Kenya must also speak out for peace, national unity and cohesion.

    Civic and voter education are vital and must be undertaken in all urgency.

    The media also has a critical role to play in educating the public and in promoting a serious discussion on the nation’s future.

    The Panel welcomes yesterday’s announcement by the media owners to hold Presidential debates. These debates can help to promote dialogue and as issues-based conversation about the future leadership of the country.

    The Panel also welcomes the media’s intention to work closely with the IEBC in communicating to the public progress in preparations for the elections, and ultimately the official results.

    I said earlier that Kenya is going through one of the most important periods in its recent history.

    The forthcoming elections will elect the leaders who must oversee the completion of this historic transition. These leaders must be prepared to serve in the best interest of the country and all Kenyans.

    The Panel has been very encouraged by the determination of Kenyans not to allow a repeat of the tragedy that the country experienced at the last election.

    National unity, stability and cohesion will only be safeguarded by a credible and democratic election. We encourage all Kenyans to exercise their right to vote and to have their voices heard.

    In this regard, the Panel is encouraged by the private sector-led initiative MKenya Daima which is bringing together all stakeholders in a campaign to promote peaceful elections.

    Kenya’s friends in the international community stand ready to offer all necessary support.

    I can assure you that the Panel itself will remain fully engaged. We intend to visit more frequently over the next crucial months.

  3. It could be predicted as early as last weekend that Kibaki would try as much as possible to evade meeting Panel of Eminent Persons currently visiting the country. Despite having served as former UN SG and Mkapa as former head of state in neighbouring Tanzania, there was no government protocol arranged for the two gentlemen. Their mission is an AU mission but the UN office in Nairobi seemingly took charge of the protocal arrangements in collaboration with the Kofi Annan Foundation.

    Despite multiple requests for meeting Kibaki and team, State House has failed to respond to these requests forcing Kofi Annan to proceed with his scheduled press conference this afternoon without having had the benefit to meet one of the coalition partners. He later confirmed appointment with Kibaki was never granted. How regrettable!

    It is not just a major diplomatic gaffe but also a worrying signal for a country that goes into transitional elections in just a few months, with so much left to be done. It could also mean the escalation of non-co-operation with ICC on the Kenyan trials which are scheduled to start in April 2012.

    Kenya is virtually under the microscope of the international community who have direct interest in the stability of this country and Kibaki’s co-operation and facilitations are of greatest importance.Kofi Annan carries enormous clout and I think it is a blunder for Kibaki’s advisors to treat him in such casual style.

    Every Kenyan on the street is asking what could be wrong as we all remember how Mr. Annan worked tirelessly to bring Kibaki and Raila to the negotiating table in 2008.

    http://www.citizennews.co.ke/news/2012/local/item/4769-annan-kibaki-meeting-fails-to-take-place

    • Koffi supposedly handed out an envelope to Ocampo (OTP) which triggered Uhuru’s ICC tribulations. This is the context from which one should view Uhuru’s demand for a “meeting” with the so called ‘other’ presidential candidates (euphemism for Uhuru).

      A global leader of Koffi’s stature is so much sophisticated for such rudimentary arm-twisting. He sees Uhuru for exactly what he is – an international pariah accused of serious crimes against humanity.

      FACT: As a diplomatic guru, Koffi Annan will not want to legitimize and give credence to the likes of Uhuru.
      FACT: If Kenyans elect Uhuru as President; they would have signed themselves into economic turmoil. Electing an international pariah as President is not exactly how to grow a new Oil economy.

  4. Here’s an unedited updated from Commissioner Yusuf Nzibo

    IEBC PREPAREDNESS FOR THE 4TH MARCH 2013 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN KENYA

    The Commission (IEBC) has just concluded a Joint Planning Conference which saw the coming together of all the Commission Election officials from the HQs and the Region to dialogue on the preparedness and commitment of whole Commission in conduct of general elections to be held on 4th March 2013.

    The objective of the workshop was to:-
    1.Create a common understanding on the BVR implementation priorities
    2.Create a common understanding on the General election implementation priorities
    3.Create a forum for the Commission to interact with its staff.
    4.facilitate a commitment to a common approach to the Commission vision and agenda in an appropriate and consistent manner.

    Delimitation of Boundaries
    The Commission gazetted its report on constituency and county assembly wards boundaries on the 7th March 2012. 136 Constitutional petitions were filed at the High court and on hearing and determination of the petitions the High Court upheld the decision of the Commission.
    Mapping has already taken place
    New Boundaries will form the basis for fresh voter registration.

    Registration of voters and acquisition of Biometric Voter Registration kits
    Due to the challenge posed by the election timelines, a bill amending the Elections Act was passed to law adjusting the period at which the registration of voters and revision of the register of voters terminates under the Act.
    Policy deliberations and negotiations to roll out Biometric voter registration in the Country successfully completed after a government to government arrangement for the acquisition of Biometric voter registration materials.
    First set of the kits are already in the country and subsequently the final procurement of the rest of the kits will be expected before the end of the Month.
    The Commission intends to roll out the fresh voter registration process starting November 2012 and shall recruit and train over 30,000 registration clerks to man approximately over 25,000 centers in all the 290 constituencies.
    On Diaspora voting the commission has come up with a policy on the registration and voting of the Citizen residing outside Kenya.

    Legislations on regulating the electoral process
    The Development of the Election regulations concluded by the Commission forwarded to parliament for tabling.
    Leadership and integrity legislation formulated and passed into law
    Elections Act 2011 in place
    Political parties Act 2011 in place
    Campaign Finance Bill 2012 aimed at regulating sources of campaign funds contributed to candidates and political parties at the Attorney General for validation.

    Voter Education programme
    The Commission has officially launched the voter education programme with four publications Voter Education Curriculum, the Voter Education Training Manual, Gender Guide to the Constitution of Kenya and the Handbook on Elective Positions.
    These books are intended to complement other Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials developed by the IEBC and other stakeholders in the electoral process. They have been appropriately reviewed to conform with provisions of the Constitution and other relevant statutes such as the Elections Act, the IEBC Act and the Political Parties Act.
    The Commission’s expectation is that both IEBC-accredited and independent voter education providers will rely on the publications to inform their activities.

    Management of Electoral disputes
    Institutional mechanisms to be established include:-
    • Political Parties Dispute Resolution Tribunal
    • Electoral Code of Conduct Enforcement & Compliance Committee – to monitor and enforce compliance with the Electoral Code of Conduct
    • Dispute Resolution Committee ( development of rules in progress
    • Political Parties Liaison Committees – National and County
    • Conflict Management Panels – Constituencies
    • Peace Committees – Constituencies
    • Investigation & Prosecution Unit (already established) – to work with ODPP.

    Administrative mechanisms –
    • Early Warning Tool on impending conflict/violence
    • Dispute resolution committee during nomination process
    • Structured engagements with key stakeholders to address issues of concern
    • IEBC is working closely with key stakeholders (state & non-state) on dispute resolution mechanisms

    Administrative preparedness
    Staff: recruited sufficient and credible staff that included
    • 290 constituency electoral coordinators and 47 returning officer still pending
    • Strategic engagement of stakeholders by -monthly
    Media:
    • developed a manual guideline on media coverage on elections
    • Held consultative meetings with the media representatives throughout the regions
    • Sensitization workshop on journalists

    Status of Implementation of The Political Parties Act
    Establishment of the Office of the Registrar as a State office
    The office of the registrar has implemented the following:-
    Registration of political parties under the transitional provisions (s.51) and sections 5, 6 and 7 of the Act.
    Sensitization of political parties and the public
    Regulations under the Political Parties Act 2011

    Launch of the Regional National Political liaison committee in progress in all the 47 counties to commence on the 11th October 2012.

    Challenges
    • Funding
    • Political goodwill
    • Security negative ethnicity i.e. gangs
    • Time
    • Finalization of pending legislations such as Campaign Finance Bill.

    Measures to address the challenges

    Recognition of Support:
    • The Executive
    • Parliament
    • Judiciary
    • Donor community
    • Other stakeholders.

    All have given support to the process.

    KENYANS COME OUT IN LARGE NUMBERS TO REGISTER AFRESS AS VOTERS IN NOVEMBER, AND VOTE LEADERS OF YOUR CHOICE ON 4TH MARCH 2012. IEBC PROMISES A FREE, FAIR, TRANSPARENT AND CREDIBLE ELECTIONS. EXERCISE YOUR DEMOCRATIC RIGHT !!!!!!!

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