raila-kibaki feud continues over corruption

The events of Sunday morning exposed the illusion that Kibaki and Raila had decided to bury the hatchet and do what is right for the Republic. Earlier the Prime Minister had suspended Ministers William Ruto and Samuel Ongeri over graft in their respective ministries. But the President quickly followed with a press release saying that the Prime Minister had no authority to dismiss the two ministers. Both cited sections of the Constitution and National Reconciliation Accord that midwifed the formation of the Grand Coalition Government after post-election violence in early 2008.

It is clear that corruption and the fight against it is being politicized by the two principals. It is also clear that the constitutional amendments that created the position of the Prime Minister did a bad job of defining the powers of the Premier and separating these powers from the President’s. And that is just sad. Parliament must do something in order to avert a full blown constitutional crisis in the near future.

Prime Minister Odinga’s move to suspend Ongeri and Ruto, in my opinion, was ill-advised and reckless. Justice is political, and sometimes the means matter just as much as the end. Is it wise to risk wider instability in the country for short-term political gains? I don’t think so Mr. Odinga. There are better ways of dealing with both Ruto and Ongeri. President Kibaki reaction to the suspensions was equally sub-par. I still do not understand how two men in such high positions find it reasonable to communicate with each other over the media instead of meeting and hammering deals with each other in person. The two should know that their power-politics games in the media do nothing but drive wedges between Kenyans. To quote President Moi, these nonsensical games will not increase the number of sufurias in Wanjiku’s kitchen.

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