Optimistic? Yes, but cautious
Watching Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki early this evening, I could not help but notice how each side re-stated its position in the on-going crisis.
Raila told us he was keen on a peace founded on truth and justice.
Kibaki told us he was keen on peace, without as much a seeming regard for what else Raila had talked about.
Both sides indicated they remain committed to dialogue.
Kibaki appeared satisfied with the initial outcome (whatever it had been) – his body language communicated contentment, and some joy.
He even appeared to find comfort in using the presidential address system as opposed to the common PA system both Kofi Annan and Raila had just used.
Kibaki was, in my view, communicating continuity – matters of state going on, with him in control.
Raila, on the other hand, communicated some commitment to the tyrannies of the urgent, and specifically the issues that have informed his position; for him, the body language didn’t communicate a seeming readiness to acquiesce to the status quo.
I suggest that much more should be gleaned in their Swahili off-the-cuff remarks; it is important that Raila was cheered the most, especially when he made his remarks in Swahili.
Did he address the crowd present better?
Was the crowd full of his supporters?
Did the press corps cheer him?
Afterwards, a friend buzzed me, saying how impressed he was the two had met and talked at last, and how he thought things would be better now hence forth.
I am optimistic, but I remain cautious.
And I should counsel us against accepting any easy quick-fixes, particularly from the United States and, closer home, M7; our friends they might be, but never have their interests appeared more inimical to ours in my view than they have in recent days.
The same goes for some of the mediators, who have been extensions of some of the competing foreign interests.
Meanwhile, all hail Annan et al.
And above all, the God most Kenyans and others worldwide have been crying to for days on end.
On whose side have the Israelis been in the Kenyan question? With our pre-occupation with Washington, Brussels, Addis Ababa et al, we might have ignored one of the nations with the greatest interest in what happens in this East African nation. I was just wondering.