Azimio says to explore other options if bi-partisan talks seem unpromising

Azimio says to explore other options if bi-partisan talks seem unpromising

Opposition leader Raila Odinga addresses a roadside rally in Magena Town, Kisii County on September 10, 2023. | @RailaOdinga/X

The opposition Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition party says they will take another move if the ongoing bipartisan talks with the ruling Kenya Kwanza alliance seem unpromising.

Opposition chief Raila and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka on Sunday addressed a roadside rally in Magena Town, Kisii County, where they said the opposition will not waste time in dialogue without signs their issues will be addressed.

Azimio, among other things, wants a reduction in the cost of living, an audit of the 2022 General Election servers, bipartisan reconstitution of the IEBC, as well as its inclusion in national affairs and what he describes as respect for political parties.

“Before we talk of 2027, we must settle 2022 and that is why we have the bipartisan talks. We want to settle election injustice,” Musyoka, who is leading the Azimio delegation in the talks, told supporters.

“Raila amesema tuwaangalie kwa macho kwa ile kikao na kama hawana haja then we shall think otherwise. We can't waste time.”

Odinga said they stopped anti-government protests to give the government a chance through dialogue but if President William Ruto’s administration will not cooperate, they will not hesitate to announce another way of airing their grievances.

“Sisi tunakubali mazungumzo, ndio maana tumeweka Kalonzo hapo. Tutawapa nafasi vizuri ili wazungumze na wakileta nyokonyoko si mko tayari?” posed the former Prime Minister who holds his presidential victory in the 2022 polls was stolen from him by Dr Ruto.

Odinga’s entourage comprised governors Gladys Wanga of Homa Bay, Migori 's Ochillo Ayacko, and Kisii’s Simba Arati as well as a raft of Azimio-affiliated MPs.

On Sunday, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said an audit of the 2022 presidential election results should be foregone as an agenda in the bipartisan talks.

During a church service in Laare town, Meru County, Gachagua argued that the decision by the Supreme Court to validate President William Ruto's victory cannot be reversed and hence the matter should be off the table.

"There is no constitutional provision for anybody to audit a General Election. That audit was done by the Supreme Court and you were declared validly elected and sworn in as the President of Kenya," he said.

"That we don't agree with and we would like to ask that agenda to be dropped from those talks because the matter was concluded, you were sworn in on the 13th of September, you are doing a good job and nobody is complaining."

So far, the dialogue team has arrived at a five-point agenda of deliberation; Outstanding Constitutional matters; Electoral justice and related matters; Entrenching funds into the Constitution; Establishment and entrenchment of State offices; and Fidelity to Political Parties/Coalitions and the law on multiparty democracy.

Musyoka is leading the Azimio dialogue team, joined by his DAP-Kenya counterpart Eugene Wamalwa, Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi, Nyamira Senator Okongo Omogeni and Malindi MP Amina Mnyazi.

The Kenya Kwanza team is led by National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wa and comprises his Senate counterpart Aaron Cheruiyot, Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire, EALA MP Hassan Omar and Bungoma Woman Rep Catherine Wambilianga.

Odinga has previously threatened the return of street demonstrations if the talks are not fruitful. The recent round of demos left over 20 people dead.

Previous talks in April and May broke down as both sides accused each other of sabotage.


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