Published below is the executive summary produced out of a more detailed document titled "Citizens Pathway to the Future" after last week's meeting at The Cellar. The group has now grown considerably and the draft of the framework as discussed last week provides part of the 'mass' of the iceberg which has been shared with as many common interest groups as possible with a view to coalescing to a common position that will be endorsed by all and that forms the 'Citizens Agenda' for resolving the current political crisis.
CITIZENS PATHWAY TO THE FUTURE-EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The country is in a crisis following the disputed presidential elections. The evidence of this is clear to all:
- Over 300 Kenyan’s are dead, perhaps many more unknown
- Over 200,000 Kenyan’s, mainly women and children have been forced to flee their homes.
- People’s life-work and livelihoods have been destroyed
- Business has come to a standstill with dire consequences on economic performance and in particular domestic revenue collection. A country that was proud of its recent economic achievements may now have to take out its begging bowl.
- Investor confidence in the country has evaporated overnight resulting in the diminution of the value of our national assets (falling exchange rate, what is the value of Safaricom today?)
- The international image of the country continues to deteriorate as horrific images of chaos, death and destruction dominate the international media
- The economic and democratic gains since 2002 are quickly being washed away and could be completely eroded by continued mass action.
- We need to recognise that none of the opposing sides can claim an overwhelming popular mandate. More than 50% of the electorate rejected either candidate. Further we have a hung and fragmented Parliament making Parliamentary business at best fragile.
- One of the emerging hard line positions is that PNU can cobble together a government with other parties. Should this happen without a negotiated settlement with ODM, it will be a further step into the abyss as ODM may have no alternative than to pursue mass action, disruption and other non-constitutional means. Kibaki and his government has not and will not have international legitimacy with consequences to our country’s ability to participate in the international diplomatic and financial arena.
- The other hard line position taken by ODM is that Kibaki is illegally in office and must be forced out either through mass action or an early re-run of the election. This stance is likely to lead to more loss of life and the entrenchment of the image of ODM leaders as insensitive villains ready to sacrifice the country for their selfish pursuit of power.
- Whereas, the urban disruption could be quelled in the short term, rural insecurity will be much harder to police and will stretch our security forces, further exacerbating the security situation. The very fabric of our society is threatened and could collapse.
- Kenyan’s are feeling the pain of having contributed positively by voting and yet obtained extremely negative and painful outcomes for themselves – death, loss of property, mental anguish, fear, hopelessness and tribal tensions. The highly charged political atmosphere is likely to remain because many Kenyans who made personal commitments and sacrifices in the election process feel disenfranchised by the disputed results and the continuing stalemate. Civic education and the relatively more aware and enlightened populace compound these feelings.
- Unless the situation is resolved urgently, economic meltdown will become certainty. As trade is disrupted by violence and mass action and investor confidence plummets, economic activity will come to a standstill with reverberations being felt at all levels of the national spectrum: from key business leaders to the very poor, who also happen to form the political support base of all the actors.
- The regional economies are and will continue to suffer disruption as a result of the Kenyan crisis. Some of the countries in the region have been known to intervene to protect their national interest and are not expected to sit back as Kenya causes them internal strain and possible strife.
- As more people suffer the unfolding events will be blamed on the key individual protagonists (as has already begun to happen) to whom the hard line positions will be attributed. This could have long-term and dire consequences for Raila and Kibaki personally including exile and international isolation as pariahs.
- Beginning the national healing - bring an end to the violence – cooperative effort by all parties including bringing on board the post-serious incident therapy professionals.
- Trust and confidence building measures for the political players need to be instituted
- Election closure
- Composition and duration of an Interim Government/ Government of National Unity.
- Priority agenda for the Interim Government/ Government of National Unity to take account of some of the key issues that have accentuated divisions,
- Administrative, legal and constitutional reforms to be instituted before the next election;
- An agreed timing for Presidential and/or National Elections after Interim/ GNU
- Global agenda to restore regional and international respectability
To earn and uphold our pride of place among nations as a sovereign and remarkable country of outstanding people enjoying a high quality of life
This is the agenda that we, as citizens of Kenya have for our country. Our leaders as agents must implement the will of the people.