Azimio proposes initial joint meeting with Kenya Kwanza for Monday » Capital News

NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 4 – Azimio La Umoja One Kenya has written to Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah seeking an initial joint meeting with the Kenya Kwanza Alliance on Monday, August 7 to kick start the proposed dialogue.

In a letter, Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka who is leading Azimio’s five-member team in the dialogue called for a speedy resolution of the standoff between the two opposing sides citing anxiety among Kenyans.

“We have taken this step because we believe that time is of essence. While a lot of hard work will be required to resolve issues at hand, we believe a speedy start and a time bound process is necessary to put the nation at ease,” stated Musyoka.

The Raila Odinga-led coalition had set the end of this month as the deadline for the culmination of the talks even as the two coalitions failed to agree on issues of reference to be ironed out during the dialogue.

The initial bi-partisan talks to end the stalemate flopped after the 14-member team co-chaired by MPs George Murugara (Tharaka) and Otiende Amollo (Rarieda) failed to reach a consensus on the terms of reference.

“We believe that if all concerned show courage and commitment, there’s now a real chance that before the 1st September, Kenya will be reunited. We remain committed  to negotiating in good faith on the basis of the plan,” Musyoka stated.

The Opposition Coalition stated that the team will be required to engage in dialogue on four thematic areas which include ways to lower the escalating cost of life and the audit of 2022 presidential elections.

Others include the bipartisan reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and Inclusivity in national affairs and respect for political parties in line with the Constitution.

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

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The opposition team led 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.

The Musyoka-led team will include Minority Leader in the National Assembly Opiyo Wandayi, Malindi MP Amina Mnyanzi, Democratic Action Party Leader Eugene Wamalwa, and Nyamira Senator Okongo Omogeni respectively.

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).

This comes after former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo brokered a pact between President Ruto and Azimio leader Raila Odinga to facilitate a ten-member team to hold talks aimed at ending the social, economic and political situation facing Kenyans.

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

Azimio’s 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 in 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.

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

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