Raila wants ECK team out
Small-scale entrepreneurs from Mpwapwa District attend a seminar on the application of loans in Dodoma. The seminar was organised and conducted by the Small Industries Development Organisation (Sido).
By Tom Mosoba

Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga yesterday said the entire leadership of his country's Electoral Commission (ECK) must own up and resign from office or be forced out.

Mr Raila said ECK chairman Samuel Kivuitu should lead his fellow commissioners in bowing out following the release of Justice Johann Kriegler's report on the disputed general election results and subsequent violence that claimed the lives of more than 1,200 Kenyans.

"Mr Kivuitu and his team should resign immediately or there is going to be a recommendation that they leave," Mr Raila told Tanzania�s state television in an early morning live interview from the hotel where he is staying.

The PM who is on a three-day official visit to Tanzania noted that the recently released Kriegler�s report implicated ECK and its leadership in malpractices that could not be wished away.

He said the report has recommended far changes in the ECK and promised to see them through to regain the confidence of the electorate.

According to Mr Raila, Mr Kivuitu whom he referred to as "Judas Iscariot" has lately tried to strike a conciliatory position which would still not absolve him from blame.

"He had the chance and choice not to announce flawed results but did not and should now be ready to shoulder the consequences as well," the PM told broadcaster Susan Mungi in the interview on Tanzanian Broadcasting Corporation.

Premier Raila said African countries should make their leaders accountable for their actions and hold them against any failures for the trust the communities placed on them.

The Kenyan leader said he as well as the coalition government had accepted the Kriegler�s report and would be implementing its recommendations for posterity.

He thanked Tanzanian leaders, President Jakaya Kikwete and former President Benjamin Mkapa for helping Kenya overcome the post election crisis.

On bilateral relations, Mr Raila said trade between Tanzania and Kenya was on the rise, noting the former had raised its share by 400 per cent, while Kenya's grew by 60 per cent.

"Tanzania is by far the fastest growing in terms of trade and should not fear domination by any country," said Mr Raila.

He urged speed for regional integration, saying with a combined population of more than 120 million people, the five East Africa countries can prosper by attracting joint investments.

On his second day of the visit yesterday, the PM visited Zanzibar where he held talks with President Amani Abeid Karume. Hundreds of residents lined up the route from the airport to welcome him.

The two leaders emphasized the need for peace as a prerequisite for trade.

Raila who toured clove plantations and other tourist sites said Kenya was keen to invest and share experience with Zanzibar.

He said Kenya's minister for Tourism Najib Balala will hold talks with the Isles authorities soon on possible opportunities.

He was scheduled to return to Dar es Salaam later in the afternoon to inspect several Kenyan companies investing on the Mainland, including East Africa Cables.

An official timetable indicated he would unveil a refrained media company before addressing members of the Kenyan community in Dar es Salaam at night. He flies out today.

In his entourage were ministers Kiraitu murungi and Dr Sally Kosgei.

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
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