A cross section of Kenyans is expressing disappointment and anger after talks between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister-designate Raila Odinga to name a working cabinet failed again with no resolution in sight. The breakdown of the talks has reportedly led to mass protests and an escalation in violence in and around the capital, Nairobi.
The main opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Tuesday expressed lack of trust in President Mwai Kibaki’s government, accusing it of failing to fully implement the February 28 power sharing deal. The power sharing deal, which was brokered by former United Nations Secretary general Kofi Annan effectively ended the country’s post election violence, blamed for the loss of lives and property.
Mustapha Ali is a Kenyan political analyst. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Nairobi that Kenyans are sharply losing confidence in the country’s leadership.
“Kenyans are utterly dismayed by what transpired today. Kenyans have been waiting for this cabinet, after they were promised that there would be a cabinet by Sunday. This did not take place and today ODM has called for a press conference and said that they are stopping all direct negotiations and talks with PNU (Kibaki’s Party of National Unity). And the disappointment has caused so much anger in the people. In some parts of Kenya, including Nairobi violence was reported this afternoon,” Ali pointed out.
He said the power sharing deal, which was to lead to the formation of a coalition government, is facing enormous challenges.
“It is going be very difficult for this coalition government to work because if it is supposed to be a coalition and ODM is saying that they want these ministries and PNU is saying we want these number of ministries and with these portfolios, from the way the talks are going on now, grandstanding, it seems that both PNU and ODM are going to run two separate governments. This is going to be difficult if not impossible to do,” he said.
Ali said the failure of the two leaders to come to a compromise over naming a functioning cabinet could potentially lead to chaos.
“I think first of all there is going to be more demonstration, there would be more violence in the country. Already the young people and youth in Kisumu and parts of Nairobi were on the streets today, the police tried to contain them with force. This is bound to spread in other parts of the country,” Ali noted.
He said some internally displaced Kenyans were hoping the government would soon tackle their problems after naming a cabinet.
“Remember that people in the affected areas in the provinces are keenly waiting to see what this government would look like, and what it is going to do first of all to resettle these internally displaced persons. Now it does not seem that anything is going to take place and anger is going to mount again, and we are going to see another cycle of violence. It is critical that international pressure is brought to bear on Kibaki, and Raila. If this is not going to happen, we are going to see the grandstanding that both leaders have been having and the different positions that they have been taking, and this is going to cost Kenya even more,” he said.