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cc Following the resignation of Kenyan Justice Minister Martha Karua,

The resignation of Justice Minister Martha Karua is the clearest indication yet that the reform agenda is in peril.

Viewed together with the failure of the Grand Coalition Government (GCG) to meet on fast-tracking the implementation of the mediation agreements and the resignation of National Cohesion Secretary Kithure Kindiki in July last year, the frustration of the minister charged with the bulk of legal and institutional reforms outlined in agenda 4 of the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation process is a damning indictment of the president’s leadership as he attempts to secure just and sustainable peace for Kenya.

This resignation demonstrates the point that the anti-reformers are taking charge of government affairs and have the wherewithal to frustrate their opposites into resignation. It is therefore imperative that Kenyans heighten their pressure for actual and meaningful reforms rather than the empty rhetoric that the government speaks.

While we commend former minister Karua for signalling the gravity of the situation to the Kenyan people, we call upon both parties to the GCG, particularly the two principals, to step above the interests of impunity and succession and demonstrate leadership and statesmanship in saving the mediation agreements.

Judicial and security sector reforms, signalled by a removal of those with political responsibility for the same, are an imperative if the country is to move ahead.

We call on NARC-Kenya (National Rainbow Coalition-Kenya) and ODM (Orange Democratic Movement) as political parties in parliament to have a deliberate conversation on the reform legislation they need to push through to force all else to deliver on agreed reforms. Only then shall we believe Ms Karua and the prime minister when they talk to Kenyans alleging frustration.

Civil society stands ready to help in the drafting the bill for a special tribunal.

While recognising the collapse of the Kilaguni talks, we challenge President Kibaki and Premier Raila Odinga to hold periodic public accountability sessions with wananchi where they will answer questions on their performance.

* Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ) is a coalition of citizens and Kenya's governance, human rights and legal organisations which continues to monitor and advocate for the implementation of Kenya's mediation agreements.
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