Road Map Out Of The Chaos

Wednesday, January 30, 2008
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A roadmap of guidelines and benchmarks for the mediation process has been released by Kenyans for Peace With Truth and Justice, a coalition of over 40 human rights, governance and legal organizations in Kenya. KPTJ states starkly: "Violence is rapidly spreading. Politicians are continuing to take hard-line positions. And there is a possibility that the country is gravitating to full scale civil war."

KPTJ sets out the following guidelines for the mediation process:

1) Justice and Truth: The truth must be known about the disputed election. Independent
investigation and audit of the flawed presidential poll should be initiated as a matter of urgency. This should be done by a Commission of Inquiry agreed to by both parties.

2) Constitutional guarantee: All solutions to this crisis must be anchored on a constitutional framework.

3) Interim power-sharing and a government for national reconciliation/healing: An
interim government should be formed for not less than one year and not more than two years.

4) Both leaders should give in a little to move things forward. Mr. Mwai Kibaki must acknowledge that that his presidency is disputed. Mr. Raila Odinga must acknowledge that Mr. Kibaki was sworn in, whether legitimately or otherwise.

5) Reconciliation and healing: This should be the major responsibility of the new government.

6) The new government should have minimum mandate and be charged with the following responsibilities:

i) Electoral reforms, to address the flaw in our electoral system and in
particular the gaps that led to a flawed election. "Winner takes it all"  is an issue
that has to be addressed.

ii) Judicial reforms, to ensure judicial probity, accountability, independence and efficiency

iii) Arrangements for a new constitution: the new government should
establish a new framework for a new constitution.

iv) Minimum constitutional reforms: This should be done to anchor power

v) National healing and reconciliation

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About Shailja Patel

Shailja Patel is a Kenyan poet, writer and theatre artist who has performed at venues from New York's  Lincoln Center to the Zanzibar International Film Festival. Patel's first full-length show, Migritude, premiered in the San Francisco Bay Area, and toured Kenya to critical acclaim in 2007. The show was selected as the subject of the 2007 season premiere of SPARK! –  KQED TV's award-winning arts programme .Patel's work has received awards from, among others, the Ford Foundation, the National Performance Network, and Indian American Women Empowered. Most recently, she is a founding member of Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice, a coalition of Kenyan citizens and legal, governance, and human rights organizations, working towards a viable peace in the Kenya Crisis stemming from the December 2007 elections.