MPs united in call for peace – 23 Jan 08

MPs united in call for peace

Political differences were set aside Thursday when 40 MPs from the violence-torn Rift Valley Province joined hands and made a passionate appeal for peace. The MPs from PNU, ODM and other small parties vowed to work closely with provincial commissioner Hassan Noor to bring to an end the post-elections violence which has claimed more than 600 lives and left 600,000 people displaced countrywide. Bureti MP Franklin Bett said in a statement: “It’s our hope that the on-going dialogue and mediation by President Kibaki and the ODM leader Raila Odinga will yield positive results, and go a long way in bringing about the desired peace.”

Presidential elections

Earlier, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka appealed to them to promote peace and reconciliation one month after the disputed presidential election was announced by the chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya, Mr Samuel Kivuitu. Violence followed soon after.

Mr Musyoka was addressing most of the 207 MPs who were elected at the December 27 polls during a two-day induction workshop on the Constituency Development Fund at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.

The workshop was also attended and addressed by Finance minister Amos Kimunya, House Speaker Kenneth Marende and the National Assembly Clerk, Mr Samuel Ndindiri. Mr Noor assured the MPs, who held their news conference during the tea break, that he would ensure the recent ban imposed by police commissioner Hussein Ali on pubic meetings and rallies was lifted so that they could address their constituents.

He said he was going back to his office in Nakuru confident that the new found unity and peace initiative would bear fruit. “We convened the meeting because of the rising violence in parts of the country. Rift Valley is bleeding and people are hacking each other to death. What started as a small problem has got bigger, and unless we stop it in the next two weeks, it might turn into a huge monster we will be unable to control.”

Mr Noor also pleaded with residents blocking roads to desist, saying the Government was ready to provide security and restore law and order. “As a Government we don’t want to kill anyone; what we want is public support to restore law and order. Rift Valley is the breadbasket of Kenya and unless were act now we might end up with a famine,” he said.

The MPs, led by the Bureti MP, appealed to political leaders, starting with President Kibaki and Mr Odinga to come out and preach peace, justice and reconciliation to their constituents and supporters.

Said Mr Bett, who is a former State House Comptroller: “We further appeal to the Government, through the provincial administration, to beef up security in the affected areas and by providing safe passage and security to affected schools and other learning institutions.”

The MPs said violence and illegal evictions were still going on. They included former Energy assistant minister Mwangi Kiunjuri, Simeon Lesirma (Samburu East), Margaret Kamar (Eldoret East), Charles Keter (Belgut), Sally Kosgei (Aldai), Jackson Kiptanui (Keiyo North) Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru Town) and Zakayo Cheruiyot (Kuresoi).
Daily Nation

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