Kenyan women to go on sex strike in political protest

April 30th, 2009 - 2:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Nairobi, April 30 (DPA) A group of Kenyan women’s organisations have called on wives and girlfriends in the country to withdraw conjugal rights for a week in an attempt to end the political strife that some fear could ultimately lead to renewed ethnic violence.
The Women’s Development Organisation says it will also approach the wives of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, 64, and President Mwai Kibaki, 78, to join the week-long sex strike.

“The women of this country will not… allow its political leadership to lead it back onto a slippery journey to… violence and absolute chaos,” the group said in a statement Wednesday.

The coalition government was formed in early 2008, bringing an end to ethnic violence that saw over 1,500 killed and 300,000 displaced. The fighting broke out after Odinga’s supporters claimed he had been cheated out of victory in the December 2007 presidential elections.

Despite promising to compromise and work together, Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Kibaki’s Party for National Unity have done little but bicker.

The latest spat is over who should lead government business in parliament. Odinga feels he is the man for the job, while Kibaki wants Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka.

House Speaker Kenneth Marende Tuesday refused to rule on the fight, instead appointing himself to the job on an interim basis and calling on the two parties to sort out their differences.

The ODM has walked out of talks aimed at healing the rift and has said it will boycott cabinet meetings. The premier Sunday warned that fresh elections may be the only way to end the crisis.

Analysts and diplomats are concerned that if the coalition collapses or new elections are called, the country will be plunged back into violence.

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