Kenya’s embattled President Mwai Kibaki’s government is blaming the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party for the failed talks aimed at resolving the post-election violence. But the ODM has described the government’s accusations as unfortunate and face-saving. The ODM said the government is to blame for undermining the mediation efforts of Ghana’s President and African Union chairman John Kufuor. They say Kibaki refused to sign a draft agreement that would have led to face-to-face talks between the government and the opposition to end the escalating violence.
Amos Kimunya is Kenya’s re-appointed finance minister. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Nairobi that the opposition ODM party is full of dishonest people.
“We’ve invited the opposition to dialogue in good faith for the better of our country to ensure we have peace. And not just peace for one day, but sustainable peace and stability in the country, but all they are doing is playing games. Not just playing games among themselves, but wasting the time of world leaders, under the guise of mediation,” Kimunya said.
He denied the opposition’s accusations that President Kibaki thwarted the AU-backed mediation talks, by refusing to sign the draft agreement.
“People cannot purport to have done a document and quoted that they did it with the president’s permission. The president has his own cabinet, none of them were involved, and the president was not involved. They faked the document and flashed it in front of His Excellency the Ghanaian president, and expect that he would fall for it. And obviously you could see the bluff, and I’m sure he is a very annoyed man how he has been misused by them to their unscrupulous and very dishonest way. That is not how you negotiate,” he noted.
Kimunya accused the opposition ODM of wanting power at all cost without due process.
“We are dealing with people who have no honesty at all. And these are the people who are bluffing the world and trying to get the sympathy of the entire world through their rather dishonest ways,” Kimunya said.
He questioned why the opposition is objecting to President Kibaki’s cabinet appointments.
“I don’t know who has been giving this information that a country can run without a government. There was an election, and the president was pronounced the winner. He was sworn in and he has to appoint a government, otherwise the country would have no government. And this is what the opposition would like so that they can operate as a parallel government. But we have a responsibility in line with our constitution, which we have all sworn to defend, and we would defend it to the last; drop of our blood if possible,” he said.
Kimunya said opposition dishonesty and lack of credibility were responsible for the failed talks.
“We have people who have absolutely no scruples. They have gone pretending that the country can be run without a constitution, without a government. And for us we have the mandate of the Kenya people to run this country, and we are gong ahead to deliver services,” Kimunya said.
The African Union and a team of former African presidents have been trying to encourage dialogue between the government and the opposition to end the ongoing political impasse, which is threatening Kenya’s young democracy.