Kenya consults Kagame over power-sharing tips

KIGALI - Kenya’s Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka yesterday met with President Paul Kagame as the East African nation continues to search for a solution to the post-election crisis there. After more than four decades of stability, Kenya slid into political turmoil after President Mwai Kibaki was declared winner of the widely disputed December 27 poll, triggering off violence that has killed at least 1000 people.
President Kagame greets Kenyan Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, special envoy of President Mwai Kibaki, at Village Urugwiro yesterday. (PPU photo)
President Kagame greets Kenyan Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, special envoy of President Mwai Kibaki, at Village Urugwiro yesterday. (PPU photo)

KIGALI - Kenya’s Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka yesterday met with President Paul Kagame as the East African nation continues to search for a solution to the post-election crisis there.

After more than four decades of stability, Kenya slid into political turmoil after President Mwai Kibaki was declared winner of the widely disputed December 27 poll, triggering off violence that has killed at least 1000 people.

"We have met President Kagame and he gave us a lot to work on especially regarding the system this country has chosen to lead the nation," Musyoka said after his meeting with the President at Village Urugwiro.

Musyoka was referring to the proposed system of power-sharing and consensus building under which Rwanda is governed.

"I intend to carry a copy of the Rwandan Constitution when I go back to Kenya…there is a lot we need to emulate from it," he added.

He said that a compromise between President Kibaki’s Party for National Unity (PNU) and opposition leader Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) is expected to be reached in a few days.

The talks are brokered by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan and other emminent African personalities.

"Negotiating teams of both sides have gone to brief their respective parties on the progress made in the talks. I think now what is remaining is a matter of accommodation, (of both parties into the government) and how it will be formulated, " he said.

He said that some of the issues agreed upon by both parties include re-drafting of the country’s constitution.

According to reports, ODM will be given the post of Prime Minister which is currently not provided for in the country’s constitution.

ODM leader Raila Odinga, whose party dominates the Kenyan parliament, claims he won the presidential elections.

Kalonzo Musyoka, the leader of a breakaway faction of the mainstream ODM, was also among the presidential contenders during the election, but he was given the post of vice presidency amid heightened post-election violence. He was criticized by the opposition for taking up the post.

"The situation has (calmed) because violence has stopped; what remains to be addressed is the humanitarian crisis…we have at least 350,000 displaced people who need to be resettled," Kolonzo said.

He added that the two rival parties have agreed to form an Independent Review Commission that will re-examine how the electoral process went.

At least 1,000 people had died during the violence which later degenerated into tribal conflicts, pitting Kibaki’s kikuyu tribes and other tribes, including Odinga’s Luos.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charles Murigande said that what was happening in Kenya was not only affecting Rwandans economically, but also psychologically.

"Seeing the brutality with which people were being killed in Kenya was a nightmare to Rwandans because it was similar to what was happening here (during the 1994 Genocide) despite the difference in the magnitude," Murugande said.

Musyoka, who was Kenya’s Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time of the 1994 Genocide, said he was conversant with the horrors in Rwanda.

The Vice President comes to Rwanda almost four weeks after President Kagame called for immediate solution to the crisis, which has also driven about 300,000 people out of their homes.

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