We have made progress on national healing, says Kibaki

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By David Ochami and Maseme Machuka.

Despite mounting criticism, President Kibaki unveiled a favourable scorecard for the Grand Coalition Government ahead of the first anniversary.

The President’s report names the Government’s achievements, but is silent on corruption in the public sector.

It pledged to subsidise food and energy costs, but failed to address probity queries in the Agriculture and Energy ministries.

Coming two days after the publication of a UN report on extra-judicial killings by Prof Philip Alston, the report says post-election insecurity has ended but does not address unlawful killings by police and the military during the period under review.

The President’s report affirms commitment “to ending the culture of impunity” but is silent on the recommended sacking of Attorney General Amos Wako and Police Commissioner Ali Hussein.

“I am glad to join all Kenyans on this occasion in which we mark the first anniversary since the signing of the National Accord and Reconciliation Act that established the Grand Coalition Government,” Kibaki said.

The Head of State said the joint administration has returned the country to normalcy and enacted crucial legislations. He added that he is now enjoying cordial working relations with Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Kibaki admitted setbacks — such as Parliament’s failure to establish a special tribunal to try State and non-State actors responsible for gross violations during the post election crisis.

He said long-term solutions to poverty, regional imbalance and marginalisation will take time because they relate to performance of the economy.

He said the coalition has resettled 95 per cent of internally displaced people, expanded the proportion of rural Kenyans on the electricity grid to 200,000 from 40,000 and subsidised tuition fees for all students in public secondary school.

He said the regime has ploughed Sh48 billion to build 342km of road and expanded the Youth Fund to Sh4 billion.

Implemented recommendations

Besides passing the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Act 2008 to establish the Grand Coalition Government, he said his administration successfully oversaw the establishment of the Kriegler and Waki commission on the poll crisis and post election violence, respectively. The President said the Tenth Parliament has passed 18 Bills.

“The commissions completed their work and we are in the process of implementing recommendations,” Kibaki said.

He disclosed that his Government is discussing with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who mediated the power sharing talks, following Parliament’s failure to establish the local tribunal.

Kibaki said Parliament has established a roadmap to a new charter and that his Government supports land and economic reforms through short, medium and long-term policy strategies.

The President the Government has implemented the Political Parties Act and is also preparing to import 8.5 bags of maize.

Meanwhile, President Kibaki has said the Government is open to criticism from church leaders.

Kibaki urged churches to engage in dialogue with the Government to make the nation stronger.

“The church provides feed back on how the public feels and reacts to decisions made by the Government,” said Kibaki.

The President was speaking at the Evangelical Lutheran Church Luther Plaza, constructed by the church at a cost of Sh300 million.

The President church projects were avenues of creating jobs and alleviating poverty.

See related stories pages 11-31.

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