NEP’s great expectations from the grand coalition Government

We thank God; the country is now safely recovered from the edge of the precipice of self-destruction, following the ferocious eruptions of violence that were ignited by the disputed results of the presidential elections. In spite of over two months of terrible national crisis that caused 1,200 deaths, economic nightmare for many and displaced 350,000 people, at last good reason, international persuasions and patriotism of the principal leaders of both sides have carried the day, enabling to the speedy enactment by parliament of two important legislations and formation of grand coalition Government with a prime minister.

The people’s expectations are high. The challenges are daunting. But the opportunities for turning the country to a new course of prosperity are many. Today, all Kenyans and their leaders are on the same side. It is not hard, therefore, to propel the nation to a new level of peace and social equity and further restore the country’s brand image of being jewel of Africa-Kenya hakuna matata.

The residents of North-Eastern Province , however, have special, specific expectations from this historic grand coalition Government. The region, formerly known as Northern Frontier District-NFD, consisting of upper Eastern and North Eastern Province has had bitter history of economic marginalization, political exclusion and injustice such as the Wagalla massacre, ethnic differentiation and threat of economic exploitation at the hands of a sedentary and increasingly centralized state. The region further suffers from harsh climate and geographical isolation from the main national economic and social streams. During the past four decades the formal position has been, so long as the city, agricultural commercial lands, and the communication network to the outside world were unaffected, the nation could get by without much ado about the economic plight of the peripheral regions and their inhabitants. That must now change.

The Northern region which is about a half of the country, borders the world’s poorest region, Ethiopia and Somalia, is the least developed province and is unenviable part of what the MP for Nyatike, Mr.Omondi Anyanga described as “ a Kenya that Kenya forgot” about since the days of pre-independence. Progress has been made since 60’s.But more needs to be done in order to develop fullest the potentials of every inch of our land and the talent of every one of our citizens. The basis of the high expectations of the people here arises from the campaign promises made by all the presidential candidates who are luckily, today the cabin crews of the nation’s political and economic destiny. We expect President Mwai Kibaki, the Vice President and the Prime Minister to be very dependable crews of affairs of state.

The pledges of all the three parties, ODM, PNU and ODM-K for the region included the bringing about of balanced regional development, creation of special ministry for the recovery and development of NEP. They also promised major capital outlay for roads network, a kind of Marshall Plan, education, water, health, agriculture, livestock, issue of ID cards and proportional representation in senior government appointments such as in the cabinet. It is not hard to discharge these pledges. It would only require sincerity from our leaders since great political pledges are long term philosophical commitments and do not end like a midnight rainfall or a word casually spoken. We hope this time round, we would have many promises made to the residents of NEP fulfilled.

Why Museveni is best placed to mediate between PNU and ODM

The future of our great country is at a great risk. The entire nation is at the edge of a precipice since Sunday, 30 December when the chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK), Mr. Samuel Kivuitu declared the incumbent President Mwai Kibaki the winner of the Presidential election under hotly contested circumstances.

The conflict between the two protagonists, Party of National Unity of Hon Mwai Kibaki and Orange Democratic Movement of Hon Raila Odinga is very destructive and all consuming. Our people are dying and some three hundred thousand people have already been displaced. The economy of Kenya is facing a meltdown and some half a million workers have since lost their jobs in all sectors. This has impacted negatively on all the countries of the region, more so on Uganda , Rwanda , Burundi and Somalia .

It is in this context that President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, former UN chief, Mr.Kofi Annan and other eminent persons hurriedly jetted into our country to help us negotiate and save our own country. It is therefore wrong and show of lack of appreciation for Mr. Muriithi M’moitha to dismiss President Museveni’s mediation efforts as “a bad taste in our mouths” (Std, Jan, 23, 2008 ).

President Museveni is best placed to mediate between our leaders. He is a neighbor, seasoned, elder statesman who is the chairman of the East Africa Community and one who has direct interest in the political and social stability of Kenya . The fate of our country is in our own hands. President Kibaki and Hon Raila and their close followers should subject themselves to a lot of introspection and declare “we agree to any mediation because Kenya is too beautiful and strategic for a civil war”. Let us all help in any way possible to restore our nation’s pride and prestige among community of nations.