The East African Business Council (EABC) represented by its Chairman, Mr Arun Devani, EABC Board members (Kenya Chapter) and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) held meetings with President Kibaki and Hon. Raila Odinga separately on January 18. Presentations were made by the Chairman of EABC, Mr Arun Devani and the Chairman of KAM, Mr Steven Smith.
The talks were very candid about the problems Kenya has faced since the election results were announced. EABC and the Kenyan Private Sector gave information about economic and social concerns the East African region has experienced during this crisis. These discussions also covered the following:
• Both the government and the opposition agreed to continue with dialogue towards a political settlement that is acceptable to both sides. There were no conditions placed for a meeting between the government and the opposition other than the opposition requesting the presence of an international mediator in the meetings.
• All parties regretted the loss of life, displacement of people and damage to property that has been experienced.
• The Private Sector requested that both parties be clear, concise and humble in messages to the Kenyan Society and to the world. Both parties have the support of a sizeable number of Kenyans and the parties need to recognize that more should be done with improved communication to the public at large and to the world. We have a divided Kenya and how they present their messages is critical relative to reducing the tension within Kenya.
• The Private Sector also communicated that many Kenyans and East Africans would like to see faster resolution of the current political crisis and also for both parties to start the process of resolving some of the long standing problems that underlie the current crisis.
• The Private Sector also requested additional messages from both parties to stop the violence.
• All parties, including the Private Sector felt there are opportunities to move forward in resolving this crisis. The Private Sector reminded everyone that the legacy of both leaders and the Nation is now being determined by the wisdom reflected in their actions in resolving this crisis.
Chairman – EABC