The Star (Nairobi)

7 December 2012

Kenya: TNA-URP-UDF Deal Will Unite Kenya, Kalenjin Elders Say

A group of elders in the Rift Valley have backed the TNA-URP-UDF pre-election deal saying it will help heal the country.

The 10 elders said they will meet Deputy Prime Ministers Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi and Eldoret North MP William Ruto to advise them to further broaden the alliance.

"We have already asked them to stick together and to bring on board more leaders so that the alliance can unite the country," Tallam Maswai told the press after a meeting in Eldoret town yesterday.

Maswai said the elders will convene a forum of representatives from all the communities in Kenya to find ways of enhancing peace and reconciliation ahead of the March 4 elections.

He said the leaders of the alliance should quickly determine their presidential candidate to enable them hit the campaign trail immediately.

Meanwhile, elders from the Keiyo and Marakwet communities of the Elgeyo Marakwet county have reached an agreement on a formula that will enable the two communities share elective seats between them. The two communities' council of elders have been holding meetings to discuss a formula to share the seats amicably.

The elders were led by Ambassador Simon Bulut, the acting chairperson of the Keiyo Council of Elders and Andrew Chemweno, the chairman of the Marakwet Council of Elders.

"We have reached an agreement after a series of meetings across the county. We sought opinions from the residents on the best way to move the county forward," Chemweno said after a meeting in Iten on Thursday.

The elders proposed that the senate and deputy governor's seat be reserved for the Keiyo community while the Marakwet should take the governor's and women representative's.

The decision is likely to raise political eyebrows among hopefuls who have declared their interest in various seats in the county.

Lawyer Kipchumba Murkomen, who is battling out with former powerful Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott for the senator seat, has opposed the move arguing that it will not prevail.

However, the elders defended their move saying it will help to unite the two communities and foster quick development by avoiding political battles.

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