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Bipartisan tack needed in politics, business

By Dismas Mokua | November 3rd 2013

By Dismas Mokua

In the often-hyper pitched irrational battles in the two houses of Parliament between Cord and Jubilee legislators, there is one area where both parties can join forces and help Wanjiku step on the path to self-actualisation. There is urgent need for a proactive bipartisan approach to the ICC matter and an aggressive pursuit of market reforms to reduce the cost of living and open economic opportunities for Wanjiku.

It will not be unusual for the two coalitions to sit down and negotiate over critical issues that affect the nation. That is what happens in civilised democracies when handling important national matters.

The US economy, for instance, was recently on the brink of collapse and it took a deliberate move by Democrats and Republicans to negotiate a deal that saved it from shutdown.

The shutdown took place because Democrats and Republicans failed to pass a budget before October 1, the start of their financial year. Republicans did not want to pass the budget because they oppose President Obama’s healthcare reforms. They wanted to use the threat of a shutdown to arm-twist Democrats into suspending the healthcare reforms popularly known as Obamacare.

The effect was a 16-day government shutdown and weeks of uncertainty as to whether US would be able to pay its bills on time. A meeting of minds informed by national interests saw a Bill passed that reopened the government and prevented catastrophic default.

The same can, and should happen in Kenya. That is why an attempt by legislators to craft a bipartisan position on the ICC matter was a breath of fresh air. The two houses of Parliament need to embrace the spirit of compromise to come up with Motions that are sensitive to national interest as defined by Wanjiku, instead of engaging in selfish, partisan pursuits.

One hopes the Cord will see reason and support the bipartisan approach being driven by their legislators to seek a Kenyan-driven solution to the ICC matter.

This solution must necessarily respect the Rome Statute and be anchored on a genuine pursuit of justice for the victims, strengthening institutional reforms and fostering national reconciliation to catalyse economic activity in Kenya.

The team pushing the bipartisan agenda needs the blessings of the Cord leadership so that they can come up with a motion that creates an appetite for international investors to flock to Kenya, creates predictability and boosts consumer confidence in Kenya.

A bipartisan Motion in this regard would send a powerful message to the Security Council and the global business community that this is a national matter that enjoys broad domestic support. This Motion would serve to buttress the AU resolution and request for deferral of the Kenyan cases.  The leadership of the two coalitions know only too well that the UN Security Council is guided by national interests and a bipartisan position by the two coalitions would be a game changer.


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