7 January 2008

Kenya: Call for Transition Government is Backed

Nairobi — The Martin Luther King Junior Africa Foundation has called for a transitional government to end the current stalemate.

Foundation Director, Mr Mwangi Mukami, said the elections were riddled with irregularities and proposed that President Kibaki and ODM's Mr Raila Odinga agree on a transitional Government until fresh elections were called.

"The elections were flawed and each of us knows that. What we need is a transitional government to prepare for elections. This will then end the current crisis," he said.

He added: "This is the only sure way of ending the crisis. A Government of national unity cannot work and dialogue will only work under such an arrangement (transitional government)."

He ruled out an immediate run-off between the two candidates, saying the country was polarised and another election would worsen the situation.

Speaking during the launch of a 21-day campaign for peace in Nairobi, Mwangi said peace was most important at a time Kenyans were waiting for a solution to the crisis.

"We call upon our leaders to dialogue and end this impasse that has seen the country highly polarised and led to loss of lives and property," he said.

Mwangi added that sincerity was vital in the talks if a mutual agreement was to be reached.

He described the final stages of the elections as full of malpractices, which plunged the country, seen by the world as the haven for peace, into wanton violence.

He faulted Kibaki's call for peace terming it insincere and alleged that his ministers were spitting fire and sabotaging the delicate peace process.

The former president of the Youth Parliament said the two protagonists should stop cosmetic calls to ending violence and preach peace.

"Each of the two leaders is calling for peace half way. We need honest calls to end the violence and embrace dialogue," he said.

As part of the celebrations, the foundation will light white candles in remembrance of the lives lost as a result of the violence that rocked the country.

The foundation has also launched a white ribbon campaign to promote peace and non-violence in realisation of social justice.

He added that his organisation had mobilised US$7,000 to help the victims of violence.

"We are mobilising other funds from the Congress to address the deepening crisis," he added.

In the long-term Mwangi added that together with the PLO Lumumba Foundation they will help victims of the violence return to their homes by offering them loans and grants.

Others in the initiative include beauty pageants and gospel musicians led by Ms Esther Wahome.

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