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Annan must whip leaders into shape

By | Oct 6th 2009 | 3 min read

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is in town once again to goad our leaders to act "responsibly and do what is right for this country" as we await Luis Moreno-Ocampo of the ICC.

Our leaders, however, are acting like naughty schoolboys afraid of meeting the prefect and, instead, are sending out pre-emptive statements through the Government Spokesman.

Our coalition leaders, both highly intelligent men, without doubt know what ought to be done but curiously are avoiding the responsibility.

The biggest single handicap to implementation of Agenda 4 is the intricate web of alliances created by our coalition partners to enable them hold on to power.

Added to this is the potential threat of further ethnic violence posed by tribal warlords. Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, our coalition leaders are in a major quandary as they sold their souls to the powers of darkness somewhere along the way.

It will take an act of immense courage and willpower for them to withdraw from their obnoxious alliances and hand over the instigators and financiers of the 2007 post-election violence for prosecution at The Hague. Its time for our leaders to bite the bullet!

{Daudi Mwenda, Nairobi}

It is worrying to see our leaders dragging their feet in putting up legal structures to curb violence in the future.

But a man with the welfare of Kenya and Kenyans at heart is Dr Annan, who’s back in the country to meet the two principals.

The eminent diplomat is here yet again to remind President Kibaki and Premier Raila Odinga that the world is unhappy at the slow pace of reforms.

When we go to the polls in 2012, it will be the height of hypocrisy to see politicians acting all dewy-eyed should violence erupt again.

Of concern is how the whole healing and reconciliation issue is being (mis)handled. For instance, why does the ODM brigade keep on harping on about their stolen victory when addressing supporters?

And why would PNU cohorts rather rip the national fabric further by fashioning obsolete tribal alliances in a quest to retain power come 2012?

If Kenya is to heal, then our leaders should borrow a leaf from the Nigerian leaders after the Biafran War.

When the bloody civil war ended, Nigerian leaders led by General Yusuf Gowon led Nigerians from all warring ethnic communities to reconcile.

The days that followed saw the Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa working together again after years of severed inter-ethnic ties.

However, our leaders keep blowing hot and cold when it comes to promoting national cohesion. It takes more than women from Bondo going on a tour of Nyeri to prevent a recurrence of ethnically instigated chaos.

If peace is to prevail, leaders must stop cultivating the ‘us-versus-them’ mentality and start promoting genuine peace.

{Mwangi Muraguri, via e-mail}

Dr Annan should not be deceived by what Government Spokesperson Alfred Mutua credited as 90 per cent reforms.

We still have many problems that needs to be resolved and Annan’s arrival should serve as a reality check for the two principals.

{John Karamoja, Kitale}

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