KENYA – Kibaki, Raila Urges Calm, Promises Tough Action

By Peter Opiyo – President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have called for calm and tolerance as investigation into the Uhuru Park blast continues.

The President described the Sunday attack that left six people dead and 113 others injured a “crime against the people of Kenya”.

Kibaki also vowed the Government would get to the bottom of the heinous crime

I wish to condemn in the strongest terms possible those behind the disruption of a meeting at Uhuru Park, which led to death and injuries of innocent Kenyans,” said Kibaki.

Kibaki also conveyed condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their loved ones and wished quick recovery to the injured.

New Kenya

“It is an act of intolerance that has no place in the new Kenya that we seek to build,” added Kibaki.

Speaking during Kenya High School’s Centenary celebrations Monday, the Head of State urged Kenyans to remain calm and tolerant.

He added: “We must shame any retrogressive forces who do not respect democracy and the rights of Kenyans to hold different views.”

And Raila said speculations regarding the possible causes of the attack could compromise the outcome of investigation.

“This is the time to call for calm and patience so that the investigating team can get to the root cause of this barbaric act,” said the PM.

Addressing the media at his Treasury office after a meeting of the National Security Committee, which Kibaki chaired, the PM said the President expressed concern over the incident and called for tolerance and accommodation regardless of people’s views on the Proposed Constitution.

Raila said the committee reviewed the facts surrounding the explosions and resolved that police undertake thorough and comprehensive investigation and asked those with information regarding the incident to come forward and assist the police.

Serious crime

Given the magnitude of the matter, the PM said police are pursuing the issue as a serious crime and that the best investigative brains in the country are on the beat pursuing some leads.

He said preliminary report from the police showed there were three grenades at the venue.

Though the prayer meeting was supposed to end at 6pm, it went on past the stated time.

The PM noted that the police were only aware of a crusade but not a ‘No’ campaign rally.

Higher Education Minister William Ruto, Housing Assistant Minister Bishop Margaret Wanjiru were among those at the rally.