2007 violence led to the birth of new laws, but wounds still hurt
4 months ago, 31 Dec 11:33
Ten years ago today, the country was on the edge following the announcement of President Kibaki as the winner of a disputed election, triggering an unprecedented wave of violence that left more than 1,300 people dead and more than 650,000 people uprooted from their homes. A decade later, the wounds have refused to heal with presence of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the country being a stark reminder of the terrible events that shook the country’s nationhood to the core. While the Jubilee administration maintains that the country has healed, the termination of charges against the six suspects of the post-election violence (PEV) that included President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto at the International Criminal Court in The Hague has meant that the debate is relegated to the periphery with politicians from across the divide vowing that never again should the country be subjected to such an abyss even though their actions and utterances in the last polls appeared to betray such a position. NEW CONSTITUTION The 2010 Constitution and other accompanying reforms were the products of a negotiated settlement led by the former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. It is the new set of laws which ushered in devolution that has seen 47 distinctive units of governance established across the country. Independent commissions have also been created. At the global front, the government has lost steam in its quest to withdraw Kenya from the Rome Statute which creates the ICC, a move that was meant to spite the court. REFLECTIONS Reflecting on the events a decade later, leading politicians, some who participated in the talks that saw Mr Kibaki and his nemesis Raila Odinga agree to share power, give varied opinions on the strides the country has made. “Today, Kenya boasts independent and robust institutions like the Judiciary, which can easily rule on an issue without fear or favour, something that could not have happened under the previous constitution without severe and serious consequences,” maintains Mr Ruto who participated in the Serena talks that midwifed the deal that ended the 2007-2008 violence. Mr Ruto argues that the peace currently witnessed in the Rift Valley, a region which bore the brunt of the violence, is a product of their alliance with Mr Kenyatta. JUBILEE “Jubilee was borne out of the spirit of this new covenant; as a political organisation committed to the reconciliation and unity of all communities in the republic starting with those whose unity was long written off as a political impossibility,” he explains. The ICC cases became the hip bone that joined Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto into an alliance onto which they rode to power in 2013. Even though Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto enjoy immense camaraderie today, talk that their divorce could occasion another round of violence in Rift Valley has refused to die in spite of the assurances from the duo that their alliance is here to stay. REPEAT VIOLENCE Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi, who led the ODM side ...
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