Home NEWS Local News Kenya owes late Kofi Annan gratitude for saving the country, Mudavadi says

Kenya owes late Kofi Annan gratitude for saving the country, Mudavadi says

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi

Kenya will always be grateful to former United Nations Secretary General, the late Kofi Annan for midwifing the 2007/2008 mediation process, which led to key reforms in the political and governance spheres.

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has said Kenyans owe the late Annan a debt of gratitude for leading the panel of Eminent African Personalities that ended the 2007/2008 post-election violence following the disputed General Election held on December 27, 2007.

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During the unrest, about 1,400 Kenyans lost their lives, there was massive destruction of property and thousands were displaced.

“Through peace mediation, Kofi Annan steered a team involving the late former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa and Madam Graca Machel, wife to late former South African President Nelson Mandela and they helped Kenya through a mediation process that lasted 42 days at Serena,Nairobi. During that period Kenya was able to move away from the edge of the cliff,” said Mudavadi.

Mudavadi said Annan’s steadfast quest to help Kenya from the brink of collapse also helped in the birth  of 2010 constitution and a series of reforms as a result of the referendum.

He said the laws have helped Kenya since then to bounce back on a progressive trajectory as a democracy.

“As a result of the mediation process, we found our feet and direction as a nation and we were able to midwife the Grand Coalition Government. We were able to put together the 2010 constitution, which has been hailed as one of the most progressive constitutions in Africa and globally,” noted Mudavadi.

He emphasized on a collective responsibility by Kenyans through their leadership in ensuring that the current constitution is fully implemented in spirit and letter.

Mudavadi who was among the eight members of the negotiating team was on the Raila Odinga’s ODM side then together with William Ruto, James Orengo and Sally Kosgei while MwaI Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU) had Martha Karua, Moses Wetangula, Prof Sam Ongeri and the late Mutula Kilonzo.

Mudavadi says Annan’s role in mediating together with the Eminent African Personalities was among the most intensive and enduring since either sides had maintained a hard line stance at the negotiating table.

The Prime Cabinet Secretary noted that efforts to resolve the election impasse and the conflicts at that time have had wider and longer-range of lessons not only for Kenya, but Africa and the globe on the importance of peace and national cohesion.

Mudavadi was speaking when he paid respect at Kofi Annan’s final resting place in Burma Military Camp on the last day of his visit to Ghana where he had accompanied President William Ruto for a State Visit.

“When Kofi Annan passed away many of us we were not able to join the family and Ghanaians in paying our respects. My reflection on his efforts to restore peace in Kenya and globally is part of the reason why, I have used this opportunity while in Ghana to pay respect to him not just for myself but on the behalf of Kenyans to express our gratitude also to Ghana because during our hour of need they stepped forward to help us bridge our differences and today Kenya is moving forward progressively,” said Mudavadi.

“The visit of President Ruto in Ghana has just cemented that good and enhanced the partnership between Kenya and Ghana and we are grateful to the leadership of President Nana Akufo Addo and his warm welcome during our stay in Ghana,” added Mudavadi.

Notably, among the key reforms that the 2008 mediation brought forth included comprehensive constitutional and electoral reforms, the constitution of the truth, Justice and reconciliation committee, respect for human rights, parliamentary reforms, police reforms, legal and judicial reforms, commitment to a shared national agenda in key aspects of legislative structural, political and economic reforms among others.

The resulting reforms were proposed to sustain peace and reconciliation, mend Kenya’s failing institutions and reduce its profound inequalities.

In his book, Interventions: A life in war and peace, the Annan chronicles the “behind the scenes” manoeuvres that eventually brought Kenya back to peace and he confessed at some point he had to act solo and confront the real issues in order to save Kenya from the brink of collapse.

The Ghanaian diplomat, Annan served as UN secretary-general from 1997 to 2006 and shared the Nobel Prize of 2001 for peace with the United Nations.

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