The opposition now wants to hold talks with Kenya Kwanza starting this Monday, August 7.
Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka who is leading the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition team says time is of the essence noting that a speedy start and a time-bound program are necessary to put the nation at ease.
In an invitation letter to Kenya Kwanza national dialogue team through the National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wa, Azimio said the move was in light of the urgency of the issues at hand and what it termed as anxiety of the people.
“…..In light of the urgency of the issues, the anxiety of our people, and in the interest of a speedy resolution to the issues afflicting our nation, today we extend an invitation to the Kenya Kwanza National Dialogue Team for the initial joint meeting of both parties at the Serena Hotel on Monday, August 7, 2023, at 11 am” he said in the statement.
“We have taken this step because we believe time is of the essence. While a lot of hard work will be needed to resolve the issues at hand, we believe a speedy start and a time-bound program is necessary to put the nation at ease” Kalonzo explained.
Kalonzo is optimistic that the talks would not take more than a month.
“Consequently, we believe this process should come to an end at the close of August. 2023, as a party we believe that if all concerned show courage and commitment, there is now a real chance that before the 1st of September, Kenya will be reunited” he said.
He assured that the Azimio side remained committed to negotiating in good faith on the basis of a plan to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the country’s problems through dialogue.
Kalonzo who is the Azimio la Umoja co-principal reiterated the outstanding issues that the team wants discussed namely the cost of living, Audit of the 2022 Presidential Election Results, Restructuring and Reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and Related Matters, Prevention of Political Parties Interference as well as Outstanding Constitutional Matters.
He said Azimio was committed to respecting the issues listed by Kenya Kwanza for the talks which include the reconstitution of the IEBC Commission, Implementation of two-thirds gender rule, Entrenchment of Constituency development fund, Establishment and entrenchment of the Office of the Leader of the Opposition and Embedment of the Office of Prime Cabinet Secretary.
“Our initial discussions shall take cognizance of the already signed Framework document, during the bipartisan talks. We commend the constructive spirit and political will displayed so far. All of us now face historic responsibilities to bring about a just and lasting peace in Kenya” he emphasized.
Last week, the two sides met and agreed to establish a 10-member committee to deliberate on outstanding issues.
Those in Azimio include Minority Party Leader Opiyo Wandayi and DAP Party Leader Eugene Wamalwa, Nyamira Senator Okon’go Omogeni and Malindi MP Amina Mnyazi.
Kenya Kwanza is led by Majority leader and Kikuyu MP Ichung’wa. Others are Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot, Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire, Hassan Omar and Catherine Wambilianga.
The talks will be mediated by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.