"President Kibakiâs only interest at the moment is a free, fair and credible election and a smooth peaceful transition," he says. Kabira adds that he sees nothing in the recent developments that suggests things are spiralling out of control. "Together they (Kibaki and Raila) have steered the Grand Coalition through both trying and fulfilling moments."
Mathira MP, Ephraim Maina, is optimistic that the coalition leaders will pull through. Stating that he has a lot of respect for the two, Maina instead blames Kibaki-Raila handlers of poisoning the environment for narrow selfish gains.
"It was never easy from the beginning, but these two gentlemen have proved before that, however hot the issues are, they have the capacity to sort them out," says Maina, the Chairman of Central Kenya MPs caucus.
The emerging heat is just part of the wider drama that was re-ignited early this month by the nomination of members to the influential Police Service Commission. Raila raised the red flag by disassociating himself from the list of nominees presented by the President to Parliament. He maintains he was not consulted over the final decision.
The nominees were Amina Masoud as the Chair, and Esther Chui-Colombini, Ronald Musengi, James Atema, Shadrack Mutia, and Mary Auma as Commissioners. Masoud was ranked third behind Johnston Kavuludi who scored 77 per cent, and Murshid Mohamed who had 75. It is not clear why the two were left out.
Local special tribunal
The current standoff rekindles memories of last year on January 27 when President Kibaki nominated Court of Appeal Judge Alnashir Visram as Chief Justice, Prof Githu Muigai as Attorney General and lawyer Kioko Kilukumi as Director of Public Prosecutions. Raila, who was out of the country, rejected the nominations saying he had not been consulted, thereby forcing Kibaki to retreat.
In the meantime, the ICC debate and lately, the alleged forged UK-Government letter, continue to generate more heat. Except for their initial support for setting up a local special tribunal to try the suspects, Kibaki and Raila have walked different paths on the ICC matter.
The latest flap came after a dossier suggesting Western nations were pushing for Kibakiâs indictment by the ICC under a Raila presidency was tabled in Parliament. The dossier, dismissed as "not genuine", has irked the ODM leader greatly for suggesting he was either a foreign puppet or a conspirator in securing the indictments of Uhuru and Ruto. Raila is reportedly surprised that Kibaki has not reprimanded those dragging his (President) name into the ICC process.
Noting that President Kibaki formed an independent team to advise Government following the ICC rulings, Kabira denies alleged ill intentions on the part of the President. That team, he says, included Paul Mwangi, the legal advisor in the PMâs office. The President received the teamâs report last week.
Another clashing point revolves around the question of devolution. Railaâs Orange party recently released a statement vowing to fully support the devolved system of Government. The President has, however, declined to sign the Devolution Bill into law raising objections on several issues related to security.
"Kibaki will not be President after the next elections. It is important that his candid views on who will wield the power over security both nationally and locally be heard. To have police officers answerable to a governor is to invite chaos in our country," says Kabira.