Amidst growing disagreement on portfolio balance between ODM and PNU, President Mwai Kibaki has just arrived at Harambee House (10h30 local time). VP Kalonzo, Saitoti, Muthaura and Spokesman Alfred Mutua have met and escorted the president into his office.
ODM pentagon and party officials have skipped church and are said to have been meeting at Pentagon House since 08h00 this morning. Even William Ruto who only buried his father yesterday, arrived in Pentagon House earlier today. It is unclear what time the ODM will be heading to Harambee House.
President Kibaki had, through Government spokesman Alfred Mutua, indicated yesterday that he would go by the list disputed by ODM saying it was ‘final’ and based on consultations with Raila. Salim Lone has already disputed this and indicated that the list released by Dr. Mutua is unacceptable to ODM and the party will not make further concessions after accepting a bloated cabinet and making numerous concessions so as to progress peace.
Update at 10h55 Local Time
Raila Odinga has arrived at Harambee House for his meeting with Mwai Kibaki. He had earlier met members of the pentagon and senior party officials and left to meet Kibaki without addressing the press who have been camping at both venue since 6.30am today.
According to official program, Kibaki is set to unveil the new cabinet at 15h00 local time.
Uhuru Kenyatta, whose Ministry of Local Government is at the center of the dispute between ODM and PNU, is also said to be in the vicinity of Harambee House. He has threatened to lead what has been left of KANU out of the PNU should his ministry be given to ODM.
Update 11h05 Local Time
ODM Director of Communications informs the press that Raila is expected to reiterate to PNU that ODM has already made significant concessions in the formation of the grand coalition in the interest of resolving the post election crisis gripping our country and that the PNU should not expect any further concessions. In other words, ODM should not be dragged into PNU sucession wars and Kibaki should abide by the peace accord signed between himself and Raila which inter alia says: "........composition of the coalition government shall at all times reflect the relative parliamentary strengths of the respective parties and shall at all times take into account the principle of portfolio balance."
Update 11.50 Local Time
Kenya Government spokesman Alfred Mutua releases statement indicating that Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibai are presently in a closed door one-on-one meeting; without any one from their respective delegations in attendance. ODM Leader had been accompanied by members of the Pentagon while Kibaki's ministers, including the Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka had arrived in Harambee House much earlier than the president himself. It seems Mutua statement is to inform the public that the president and ODM leader are meeting on their own, while the rest are waiting outside.
Update 13h00 Local Time
Kibaki and Raila are still holed up in their meeting. No announcements have been made as yet. The original plan was for the president to announce the grand coalition cabinet today at 15h00 hours, only two hours away. Unless Kibaki and Raila rise above partisan politics and make decisions on the contentious portfolio balance that will move this country forward, then the cabinet will not be named today.
Update 15h00 Local Time
Kibaki and Raila have hit a deadlock. Members of PNU half cabinet and others from ODM are presently trooping into Harambee House in droves. No official word has been released but it appears Kibaki and Raila have opted to expand the meeting by involving members of their own teams into a meeting that will be reconvened at 04h00 local time. It shows determination by the president and Raila to name the cabinet today but it also shows perhaps for the first time, Kibaki and Raila one-on-one closed door meetings have failed to yield acceptable results between the two principals.