Can power sharing work in Kenya?

We’ve just heard the news that the international mediator Kofi Annan has said that a deal has been reached on power-sharing in Kenya. Mr Annan was speaking after talks between President Mwai Kibaki and the opposition leader Raila Odinga to end the crisis over the disputed presidential elections.In a statement to the media he said an agreement on a form of coalition government had been reached and the parties were expected to meet again shortly with a document to sign.

The meeting was chaired by the head of the African Union, the Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete.

If you live in Kenya, what does this agreement mean for you? It may resolve the political deadlock, but what will it mean for you?

43 Responses to “Can power sharing work in Kenya?”

  1. 1 James Keeru
    February 28, 2008 at 14:42

    The power sharing agreement will definately work.This is because the “politicians” in Kenya have atlast succumbed to the will of the people.And it has been made implicitly clear to them by various representatives that the people of Kenya will not accept anything less than immediate peace.
    The impact of the last 2 months has been horrible to say the least.All spheres of the economy have been affected.And job losses have become the order of the day leading to a likelyhood of a further spiral upwards of the misery to the commmon man.
    In summary the peace agreement can be likened to throwing a lifeline to a drowning man.Its definately very very welcome.
    Accolades to Mr Koffi Anan and the entire international community.We are truly grateful.
    Regards – James Keeru – Nairobi – Kenya.

  2. 2 Julie
    February 28, 2008 at 14:50

    This news is bitter-sweet for me. Yes, we do need a political resolution to the crisis but for more important (to me atleast) was to reform the Constitution. Although I still do not know the full details of the new arrangement, I fear that the politicians may have squandered a Constitutional moment for political expediency. The crisis in Kenya extended far beyond the (petty) squables of these two men, this crisis was about historical land injustices and political patronage which were then manifested in the wanton disregard of the rights to life and to own property. Unless we deal with the real issues, we will forever be at the mercy of any politician clever enough to exploit these wounds.

    February 28, 2008 at 14:58


  4. 4 Santo Akuei Akon
    February 28, 2008 at 15:32

    It is a good news to the Kenyan citizens to hear that the agreement has been reached to end the dispute of over the previous election in Kenya, which had killed 1,500 civilian, by this agreement There will be no more insecurity in Kenya, and I hope that Kenyan reconciliate and live in peace and brotherhood and work for the benefit of Kenya overcome ethnic division.

    Mwai Kibaki is President of Kenya and Raila odinga is Prime Minister and that is good for Raila.
    But I wonder by creating a new post does this means that, the Kenyan constitution is to be adjusted or what? And to avoid the controversy and dispute? The power and authorities of this new post should be jointed in decision making?

    Santo Akuei Akoon Kuc
    Juba – Southern Sudan

  5. 5 Seleman, Dar e Salaam (email)
    February 28, 2008 at 15:50

    Yes indeed, Power sharing is the only solution to the Kenyan existing crisis at the moment. there’s no way the two sides are going to resolve the problem…..they should share power instead to end the problem!

    New positions must be created as well. Since the Kenyan constitution doesnt recognise the Prime Minister’s post, then in my opinion I think the constitution should be amended to recognise it.So that the opposition should take it over

  6. 6 Santo. Sudan (email)
    February 28, 2008 at 15:51

    It is a good news to the Kenyan citizens to hear that the agreement has been reached to end the dispute of over the previous election in Kenya, which had killed 1,500 civilian, by this agreement There will be no more insecurity in Kenya, and I hope that Kenyan reconciliate and live in peace and brotherhood and work for the benefit of Kenya overcome ethnic division.

    Mwai Kibaki is President of Kenya and Raila odinga is Prime Minister and that is good for Raila.
    But I wonder by creating a new post does this means that, the Kenyan constitution is to be adjusted or what? And to avoid the controversy and dispute? What are the power and authorities of this new post? This to be answer by the

    February 28, 2008 at 15:56

    Power sharing in Kenya will definitely not work. It is just a cosmetic answer to the monumental fraud in the name of elections in Kenya; and therefore, will crumble as soon as the parties settle down to savor the fruit of office.

  8. 8 gary
    February 28, 2008 at 16:25

    Hello All,
    One improperly elected president or two improperly elected presidents, what’s the difference? Power sharing will work only when all of the people in Kenya have a share.

  9. February 28, 2008 at 17:11

    Power sharing in Kenya will never work. am from East Africa and where opposition means enmity so i understand the position in which Kenya is now. Two leaders sharing different views with personal differences are heading the country, may be for just protecting the image of Kenya around the world for now but lot worse will result.Byaruhanga Nicholas. Egypt, Alexandria

  10. February 28, 2008 at 17:37

    Does Allah and God share power? The people need a leader that shares their vision of the future.

  11. 11 Edemeka
    February 28, 2008 at 17:41

    power sharing or whatever they call it is just a way of satisfying Odinka.but one thing has to be noted here that it has opened a new sphere in african politics where the opposition takes on voilence on the hope of getting some power arrangemen.this is NONSENSE


  12. February 28, 2008 at 17:50

    There is a hole in Kenya. The people would continually fall into this hole because it was covered with leaves. Now after many weeks and much killing, it has been decided to cover the hole with cardboard instead. In time the people will fall into the hole again and discover that the hole is still there.

  13. 13 Krebs
    February 28, 2008 at 18:09

    I am not sure this deal has anything to do with democracy. Will providing a job for a few already overpaid politicians provide food and shelter for the 60% of us who are unemployed?

  14. 14 Bruce Mulimba, Lusaka, Zambia.
    February 28, 2008 at 18:28

    African leaders are all selfish. I hope they are no hidden motives.

  15. 15 Hashim Radhi
    February 28, 2008 at 18:48

    Power sharing is a name that covers more than just political expediency. In this case it is construction of a power base from which necessary changes, constitutional and social-economic will have to be implemented. I do believe that Dr. Annan and his companions have managed to midwife out of the two men (who represent conflicting interests in Kenya) a working solution. What remains is quite enormous: parliament has to consumate what the meeting has just ratified – ministries created and others scrapped, distribution of personell from ministers all way to Permanent secretaries and grassroot heads, parastatal bodies and the rest. This does not take a day or two – but may outlive the current parliament. The important thing is to make constitutional ammendment a priority as a base for further reforms.

  16. 16 A. Bangalie
    February 28, 2008 at 18:53

    Thank God, Odinga and Kibaki are at last regaining their sanity; kudos to Kofi Annan.
    They have signed the power-sharing deal. It’s my prayer that this is not just another quick-fix measure. I remain optimistic that these two men will recognize and work to unify Kenyans.
    Pittsburgh, PA.

  17. 17 kpellyhezekiah
    February 28, 2008 at 19:14

    What we have today in Kenya is just the beginning of the peace that is needed for the right things to be done in the country. I don’t know the details of the agreements but its important for Kenyan’s to undertake all the constitutional reforms that are needed to hold the country together. I’m looking forward to see the two leaders work together not in their parocual interests but to make sure that all the constitutional changes that are necessary to prevent any re-occurance of the carnage we’ve seen in ther future. Their whole electorial system must be over-hauled and other changes to their land ownerships, triblal sentiments which plays into their education, employment, social services, recreational activities eg. sports be looked at critically and if necessary changes made to accomodate all the ethnic divide. Then another election be organised as soon as these things are done to give the people of Kenya the person they want to lead them. Kudos, Mr. Kofi Annan, but sir, please understand that you must remain with Kenyans to see them through these trouble times. Your real work has just begun. We are all solidly standing behind you and supporting you with our prayers. The Lord Jesus Christ(the man who is peace himself)is with you.

  18. 18 William
    February 28, 2008 at 19:22

    First, thanks to World Have Your Say for its coverage of the Kenya crisis. Let me make two quick points.
    1. Messrs Odinga and Kibaki now have a heavy burden on them. If their agreement breaks down, I fear that people in Kenya will lose their faith in democracy. If that happens, the chaos could be so great that neither side will be able to control it and the gains of the last five decades could be lost. (I pray this does not happen.)
    2. The eyes of the world will not now be focused as sharply on Kenya, with the cessation of large scale violence, media focus, especially in the United States, will move to other global ‘hotspots.’ I hope that the BBC and World Have Your Say continue to cover events there.

  19. 19 Syed Hasan Turab
    February 28, 2008 at 21:12

    Yes they can if foreign influence stopped.

  20. 20 David Malinda
    February 28, 2008 at 22:55

    We need a government in Kenya, and this is it. We pray that it works, may be a new begining for Kenya and for that matter Africa. God guide Kenya.

  21. 21 George USA
    February 28, 2008 at 23:52

    NPR news reported the USA put pressure on Kenya to accept the dual government

    and offered 25 million for the deal, ostensibly to rebuild or relocate people displaced by the violence.

    I hope it works.

  22. 22 devadas by email
    February 29, 2008 at 10:25

    the partial power sharing deal reached with ruling and opposition parties initiated by kofiannan for the short run is a welcome measure and going to work but if international community sits back idylly believing peace has set in kenya remember its like mirage in a desert.
    the opposition which allalong believed the election has been rigged which have made this current president to cling on and the result was widespread looting and 1000s were killed in the riot that became clash between respective sects they represent .
    so this simmering racial and sectarion dynamics is still at work so each second the other is wary of these happenings .so in these mistrust atmosphere how far these peace deal will work is what international community has to look into rather than gloating over the peacedeal initiative that has been artificially reached and which will collapse with a slight whimper leading to massacre and catastrophe to the common people of kenya.
    so as soon as the peace deal is struct let the world body follow it up with some guidelines to be followed by the peacemakers of kenya the ruling and opposition and checkit out whether its followed then only in the long run peace and stability return to kenya .
    or else this peace for peace deal in kenya will be like putting band-aid plaster on cancer wounds and covering it up for anyone seeing from outside when the need of the hour is to treat cancer from its roots to fully heal .
    so two situations are before international bodies to make it up in kenya thats to put bandaid plaster like short term measures which is the current peace deal or tackle long term and come up with alternatives that will treat cancer of violence streak in kenya at its roots .
    devadas in Kerala, India

  23. 23 Kwabena by email
    February 29, 2008 at 10:26

    If the feuding factions are not seeking their own selfish interest but that of kenya,then they should know the deal must work. There if no turning back now. Kenyans need peace.

  24. 24 Emilio in Pittsburgh by email
    February 29, 2008 at 10:27

    Caution to the people of Kenya:

    Power sharing didn’t work for Julius Caesar’s Triumvirate or any attempt since.

    When you have an election … a fair election, you have a winner and a loser. Let the loser become the honorable opposition and wait for the next election.

    If the election was corrupted and cannot be adjudicated, hold another election.

    Let’s not set a precedent that if you whine enough, you get to share power.

    Pittsburgh, PA, USA

  25. 25 Jared by email
    February 29, 2008 at 10:30

    The leaders need commitment to enable power sharing. They determine the fate, good or bad.



  26. 26 Matthew by email
    February 29, 2008 at 10:31

    It was not a “sweet cup of coffee” that the Kenyans handed over to Kofi Annan to drink, but a “chalice of bitter poison.” But thank God; Mr. Annan made it a “sweet cup” for all of us to drink from. May Mr. Annan be awarded the next Nobel Prize! Thank you, Mr. Secretary General; the whole world loves and respects you. You were relentless in your pursuit even when everything looked hopelessly bleak. You started with humility and finished triiumphantly. Your humble words have been an inspiration to me, when you said at the first time, “I have no solution. But I have come to help.” You helped indeed! May all of the politicians of Kenya and the politically corrupt continent of Africa as a whole learn from and embrace your approach of humility.


  27. 27 Anthony by email
    February 29, 2008 at 10:32

    With today signing of the power sharing agreement, the violence seen in Kenya after the elections will be a blessing in diguise since the running of the goverment will be done in a transparent manner since these leaders will be watching what the other is doing and sure none would want to be found wanting.

  28. 28 Ibrahim from Tanzania by email
    February 29, 2008 at 10:33

    i’m Ibrahim hassan,from Tanzania,thanks so much to our president Kikwete and koffi annan,for their effort 2bring back kenya atleast 4 a short time in peace.hope the a greement wil be respected by both leaders n final al university students wil be backagein.

  29. 29 Addy by email
    February 29, 2008 at 10:33

    Hello. Kibaki, Africa’s ‘Thief of Baghdad’, has been humbled at last.Odinga’ll be getting some of what Kibaki stole from him-

  30. 30 Denzel in Buffalo via BlackBerry
    February 29, 2008 at 10:34

    It is wonderful that political disputes can be settle without years of bloodshed, all the negotiation have shown the with intervention by peace talks and political leaders like Koffi Hannan and Barack Obama can translate into peace for all ethnic groups in africa.
    Denzel in Buffalo, New York
    Sent via BlackBerry

  31. 31 Dedi by email
    February 29, 2008 at 10:35

    Congratulations to the effort to Koffi Anan. Achieving and maintaining peace in Africa comes with a high price tag as evidenced by the number of those killed and displaced.

    This power sharing agreement should not be misinterpreted by other presidential candidates elsewhere as a way of getting positions or some power in any system.

    SLC, Utah, USA

  32. 32 Oyamo by email
    February 29, 2008 at 10:38

    Let’s give the peace deal credit. It isn’t about raila or kibaki; it’s about the existence of kenya as one nation.
    oyamo (mombasa kenya)

  33. 33 Abdalla in Zanzibar by email
    February 29, 2008 at 10:46

    The signing of the agreement to end Kenya political crisis is applauded in the entire peaceful and civilised world.Many thanks to Mr Annan, President Kibaki, Raila Odinga, the United States and all countries that have helped to make the deal possible. I urge all politicians and Kenya as a whole to unite and work together for the interest of their country.I also have a request to Mr Annan, here in Zanzibar we have similar problems, our politicians from ruling ccm and opposition civic united front have talking but they have never reached a deal, please come and help us.
    Abdalla, Zanzibar, Tanzania

  34. 34 John by email
    February 29, 2008 at 10:57

    I want you to make it implicitly clear to my fellow Kenyans that,
    enough is enough.
    Let peace and democracy prevail.

    Mr Kibaki, give Mr Odinga the chance to coordinate and supervise
    your Governent’s affairsfor the sake of the Nation.

    Bravo Mr Koffi Annan, you have done your best.
    I am sure, you deserve another Noble Peace Price award for your
    tireless efforts to rescue Kenya.

    Western Equatoria State/South Sudan

  35. February 29, 2008 at 11:40

    Good day, iam very happy to these come through to Kenya. From my own point of view, i see Kibaki been selfish with power. instead of leaving the helm for someonelse, he prove to be intrasigent. I advise Raila Odinga not to allow him in these race. Moreso, Mr. Kofo has done tremendously well, he should be applaused for his passionate intervention into these matter.
    I see sharing of power as the ultimate answer , why because both side, especially the Kibaki’s parties don;t wanna “let-go”. As a matter of fact, he should face that for the test of time.


  36. 36 Wambui Murage
    February 29, 2008 at 16:33

    The power sharing like any other joined partnership is as good as the partners. This will truly be a test to see what type of leaders Kibaki and Odinga are. Either they will proof themselves further to be power hungry leaders or will create a peaceful country that will continue to be a beacon for all to follow.

    We will be watching!

  37. 37 ignasio kambale
    February 29, 2008 at 18:51

    I believe in one president for one country not what has just been agreed, that will not work at one point in time, because they have different strategies and ideaologies on how best to run a conutry as big as Kenya is. Therefore at any time we should expect conflict to erupt again, because not two people can rule one country.

    No matter how far this can go but believe me conflict will never end on politics in kenya until the next general election to decide one leader to rule the conutry.

  38. March 1, 2008 at 07:38

    first of all, we must be pleased that relative peace now dwell in the country, however, this should not blind us to our disregarding legality as anything founded on illegality is bound to rear up more issues especially as it relates to this agreement not being founded on the kenyan constitution. what these guys have done is a temporary arrangement, more still needs to be done to ensure that the peace being hailed today is sustained for the developement of the country’s people and for the entrenchment of democracy.

    these leaders have set a bad precedent and i only hope that it does not backfire as they have proved themselves to be out for their own interests. the spontaneous violence that trailed the elections were not by accident as the unfolding events implied an organised and pre meditated resort to violence which have arisen out of deep seated sentiments that have been around for ages (just like most african situations). how are we sure that these sentiments are still not being held by the majority of the citizens. it thus behoves on mr. odinga and mr. kibaki to skeptics wrong by actually working for the welfare of kenyan people and not playing politics with the developement of a country who had hitherto been held as a beacon of hope for african nations due to her stable democracy.

    i implore the average kenyan to have courage. . .

  39. March 2, 2008 at 22:18

    What have still done that is good and go to favour in peace but not enough hsve to do more many stages is expected ahead,for example,

    (1) constitutional amendments,

    division of powers between prime miniter and president,

    transition of power formula,

    distribution of portfolio,

    After this,during the ethnic violence,as reliable independent sources reported,1,500.men and women has beed killed longstanding enmity has created among trible that has become afleshpoint.

    It is doubtless to say that honourable Mr.Kofi Annan has played a historic role in this conflict but his need is still stand ha has to do more untill stability comes.

    According to my considered opinion,Kenya is a country where chances of coalition govrnment’s success is too weak to run and any time any issue may ignite the peace so under the procedure a new frameworke is to be set up according to which new elections will be held under the .U.N.supervision.

    In the meanwhile,all people effected during the unrest be compensated accordingly.

  40. March 4, 2008 at 07:22

    Hello there,
    i’m calling in from a University in eldoret ELDORET KENYA
    Wether it will be seen by optimists as a design and perceived by pessimists as a default,Power sharing MUST/will work in Kenya,the tribulations and trangressions that Kenya have had to go through in times of the post election skirmishes are as tamaltous as to explicitly answer the question as YES,power sharing will work because there cannot be a doucle tragedy of disputed elections and disputed power sahring deal,i would be too much for Kenya-so power sahring will work,atleast for the sake of Peace!.

  41. March 4, 2008 at 07:37

    It is the majority of Kenyans who disputed the elections citing seroius rigging.Because Kenya’s was rapidly slidding to an abyss,the plaintiffs,(ODM),in their political wisdom decided to take the appriate action-To acquit charges against the acussed (PNU),and share power plus responsibilty with them,at least not for anyhting,but just to save Kenya from to save Kenya from farther bloodshed.So when a people’s voice(ODM) has granted the agreement to share power,what else can stop it from making progress?.Power sahring will indeed work in Kenya.

  42. 42 G. Gikonyo
    March 4, 2008 at 11:28

    Obviously today’s realities have shown that power-sharing is no panacea and no bed of roses. There is solace in the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect system of governance. What societies have done and continue to do is to learn from existing systems and to seek ways of improving them. Indeed it is Winston Churchill who once put it, democracy is a pretty flawed system but it’s better than the rest. Kenyans must understand that power sharing is no panacea and where the system of power sharing is not well planned, hammered and effected, it may contain the seeds of self-destruction. What is important now is that the coalition government will create the much needed breathing space and some level of political stability and economic development. However we need to acknowledge that it is not a straightforward solution and there are obvious shortcomings which must be addressed.

  43. 43 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 11, 2008 at 08:57

    i hope that power sharing in kenya works out……

    Madrid, United States of America

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