Urgent appeal made by Kibaki and Odinga

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Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister (designate), Raila Odinga Monday jointly appealed for international financial assistance to the tune of US$ 400 million for emergency, humanitarian and reconstruction programmes.

Kibaki and Raila, who was the main opposition challenger in the controversial 27 December elections, made the appeal to Kenya’s key development partners – UK, the US, China and Japan, among others.

The duo made the appeal when they presented Kenya’s case to representatives of 40 embassies, including envoys from Russia, Canada and the European Union.

“We want to restore peace; we want to resettle as well as reintegrate the displaced to their respective areas and neighborhoods,” said Odinga, who is expected to become prime minister once parliament passes the laws necessary to implement a power-sharing deal struck after both men claimed to have won the 27 December election.

Local and foreign observers have said the election was rigged and it was impossible to determine who won.

Even the now disgraced Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) chair, Samuel Kivuitu , once confessed that he “did not know”, if Kibaki won the elections.

“We urge you to keep in mind that this is an emergency programme that requires resources that are readily available and can be committed immediately without delay,” Kibaki told the diplomats.

The election dispute sparked violence that left 1,000 people dead and 350,000 driven from their homes, in fact rendering them refugees in their own country.

A good number of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are still living in temporary camps in different parts of the country.

Despite the return of peace and the assurance by the government that it will protect those displaced and help them re-settle in their homes, thousands are too afraid to go back, and are requesting the government to resettle them elsewhere.

Worst hit were supporters of the Kibaki-led Party of National Unity (PNU), which many Kenyans believe rigged the disputed elections.

Also bearing the brunt of the recent violence is the economy, with the tourism sector suffering the most due to cancellation of bookings by tourists, who feared for their safety in the country. Papapress.

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