It is like the whole country has been holding it’s breath since December 30th 2007 and everybody started breathing again a few hours ago when a breakthrough in the the Anan peace talks was finally announced.
“We have a deal,” Anan said capturing the drama and suspense of the moment.
Wild celebrations were noted in many parts of the country including areas like Migori where or man on the ground reports, Kenyans went crazy with jubilation. As I wrote his, I still don’t have a reaction from the Rift Valley. No reports of celebrations there, at least not yet.
Still the events of a few hours ago have left more questions than answers on the minds of close observers and political analysts.
Interestingly one contentious issue was not addressed in the agreement. It is silent on what happens in the event that the coalition collapses. ODM were keen that the country goes to the polls in the event of the coalition collapsing. PNU were adamant that such a clause would tempt ODM mischief to break the coalition as soon as possible so as to force an election.
Even the Americans on acknowledging the breakthrough were cautious and emphasized in their statement that what would matter most would be the implementation.
While I do not intend to burst anybody’s bubble, there are just too many things that can still go wrong. Starting from basic questions like which ministry will go to which side. For instance the Ministry of Finance is desirable to both sides, so who will get it? There are a few other very desirable cabinet portfolios, so how will they all be divided?
Not to mention the fact that it is difficult to imagine Amos Kimunya seated on the same table as William Ruto and Raila Odinga in a cabinet meeting chaired by President Kibaki and having a sober discussion. After all there has been too much venom flying between the two groups.
But even before we reach there, the agreement ahs to go to parliament and the necessary bills have to be quickly passed. President Kibaki has announced the parliament will reconvene on Thursday March 6th.
Kenyan politics has always been about absolute power, so will the new power sharing arrangement work? Or shall we see both sides going into the marriage with raw wounds and scores to settle? Only time will tell.
P.S. Kalonzo Musyoka and ODM-K will be wiped out by the new power sharing arrangement as PNU legislators should take most of the cabinet posts. And even if Kalonzo Musyoka retains the vice presidency, that office will be more of a shell when the Prime Minister and his deputies take their seats. It looks like the miracle is about to be wiped out, forever.