Kenya Kwanza names UDA wingers, Simba Party’s Wambilianga to dialogue team » Capital News

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 2 — The ruling Kenya Kwanza Alliance has unveiled its five-member team for talks with the opposition Azimio Coalition even as the government side accused Raila Odinga of breaching ground rules.

National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichun’gwah (UDA) who will lead the ruling coalition’s team in the dialogue said the Opposition breached a condition by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo not to mention him in public statements.

“Honouring the request by former Nigerian President Obasanjo not to be mentioned in any public statement, we regret the lack of decency by Azimio in not respecting this request,” Ichung’wah said in a dispatch on Wednesday.

The Ichung’wah-led team includes Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot (UDA), Embu Governor and UDA Party Chairperson Cecily Mbarire, EALA MP Hassan Omar (UDA) and Bungoma Woman Representative Catherine Wambilanga (Ford Kenya).

Kenya Kwanza constituted its team days after Azimio accused the government side of being dishonest on envisaged talks and deliberate misrepresentation of “facts”.

Ichung’wah’s team listed a five-point agenda including reconstitution of IEBC, implementation of the two-thirds gender rule, entrenchment of Constituency Development Fund, establishment the Office of the Leader of the Opposition and embedding the Office of Prime Cabinet Secretary in statute.

“For the avoidance of doubt.As Agreed, violence shall no longer and shall never be part of our nation’s political discourse. As agreed, there shall be no discussion of whatever nature on matters handshake or nusu mkate,” Ichung’wad said.

Contested agenda

The opposition team led by Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka contested Kenya Kwanza’s failure to include the cost of living, electoral reforms and alleged cases of police brutality as part of the agenda for proposed talks.

“Our position remains that no party to these negotiations can claim a right to determine for the other what to raise and what not to raise.”

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“Azimio will respect Kenya Kwanza’s right to bring all its issues to the table. We expect Kenya Kwanza to do the same with our issues,” the opposition remarked.

Musyoka’s team includes National Assembly Opiyo Wandayi (ODM), Malindi MP Amina Mnyanzi (ODM), Democratic Action Party Leader Eugene Wamalwa and Nyamira Senator Okong’o Omogeni (ODM).

The renewed attempt for dialogue follows the collapsed of a parliamentary process initiated in April after President William Ruto agreed on talks following a spate of violent opposition protests.

Azimio side bolted out of structured talks on the reconstitution of the electoral commission, IEBC, sparking another round of protests over what Odinga termed as high cost of living.

The talks between Azimio and Kenya Kwanza hit a snag after the government side declined to co-sign a letter it considered unlawful.

Tharaka MP George Murugara, co-chair of the bi-partisan team had termed Azimio’s demands as extra legal leading to a stalemate early June.

The Murugara-led camp issued an ultimatum saying the IEBC Selection Panel led by Nelson Makanda would proceed with its mandate if the opposition failed to engage.

Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo (Azimio) who co-chaired bi-partisan team with Murugara accused President Ruto’s troops of sabotaging talks.

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