- Now that the deadlock over the disputed presidential polls results has become history, Kenyan President said the next task is to establish a power-sharing government so that East Africa's former oasis of peace and democracy can win back its lost glory.
In his state opening of parliament in Nairobi, President Mwai Kibaki has urged deputies of both sides to "ensure that all the necessary bills are dealt with promptly so that Kenya can restore and even exceed its former glory."
Mr Kibaki asked lawmakers to be guided by a strong sense of national unity, which must override all partisan considerations, especially at a time when Kenyans were "keen to see an end to partisan bickering."
"They want pragmatic solutions, not ideological posturing. They want their leaders to place the country above party and individual interests," he said, raising hopes that the deal is capable of laying "the foundations for peace and stability in our country."
Speaker of Parliament, Kenneth Marende, who hailed from the opposition Orange Democratic Movement, has urged deputies to "stand tall and try to make Kenyans proud," squarely blaming the national electoral commission for sparking off the post-electoral violence, which resulted to irreparable damage to life and property.
"The genesis of the problem that afflicted the nation would appear to have had its epicentre at the electoral commission headquarters," Marende said.
Lawmakers have been asked to back the key bills, including those of national accord and reconciliation, constitutional amendment and the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission. The passing of the national accord bill will follow the establishment of a power-sharing government in which the opposition and the ruling party share cabinet posts. It will also legalise the appointment of opposition leader Raila Odinga as the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, Kenyan media has been blamed for failing "in its duty to report fully on the political crisis and violence" because it was too busy trying to "calm passions and encourage reconciliation."
In a joint mission report titled "How far to go?", Rapporteur sans frontières, International Media Support and Article 19 investigate the behaviour of the local media during the unprecedented national crisis.
The report said like media in Africa, Kenyan press does "enthusiastically join in political crises by egging on murderous militants."
According to the report, Kenyan media's role goes beyond "criticising the country's politicians as irresponsible and unpatriotic." The media was accused of being used as "a diversion and way of coping with pressure from the government not to report what was going on.
The media’s true duty was to “report the facts, present them to those involved in the events and let the public judge,” it said, blaming editors and journalists for being inexperienced in reporting on such a crisis after decades of peace. The government feared a Rwanda-style situation.
While urging the government to trust the media and help boost its structure, the organisations called on political parties to desist from using vernacular radio stations as political tools. The media has been asked to embark on "some soul-searching" about what went wrong and to improve on investigative reporting.
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