Azimio nominates Embakasi West MP to replace Sabina Chege as deputy Minority Whip

MArk Mwenje

Embakasi West MP Mark Mwenje 

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

Azimio has nominated Embakasi West MP Mark Mwenje as National Assembly deputy Minority Whip to replace Sabina Chege-who has shifted allegience to Kenya Kwanza.

Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi announced during the coalition's Parliamentary Group briefing that all Jubilee MPs who have defected to Kenya Kwanza will have to face by-elections in line with the Constitution.

On Finance Bill 2023, the coalition has vowed to oppose it on claims that 'it takes us back to the 1980s.' 

"It takes us back to the era of Structural Adjustment Programs. It takes us back to the 1980s because the people who were in charge back then, are in charge today. It is our position that in the long history of budget making in this country, never has a regime tasked our people to sacrifice so much by way of taxes for so little by way of gains," Mr Wandayi said.

We have refused to sit back and watch as Kenyans are being harassed to fix cash crunch caused by economic mismanagement, wasteful spending, corruption and skewed and incompetent hiring into critical public positions, the statement said.

The Raila Odinga-led Azimio la Umoja One Kenya gave President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza until midnight to withdraw the controversial Bill and also agree that all opposition MPs that have decamped to their side face by- election.

In a statements following the coalition’s Parliamentary Group (PG) Tuesday, the opposition noted Kenya Kwanza’s two concessions for resumption of the talks, but noted that they were not enough to allow a return to the bi-partisan talks.

“It is also our position that the Finance Bill as presently crafted must be withdrawn and replaced by a Bill that appreciates the suffering the people of Kenya are going through. Indeed, Azimio MPs have resolved to sign a public pledge to oppose the Bill, awaiting its withdrawal,” read the coalition’s statement by Mr Wandayi.

The coalition noted that “it is our resolution that other than merely committing not to interfere in the affairs of other parties, Kenya Kwanza must agree that all Jubilee MPs who have defected have to face by-elections, in line with the constitution.”

“Until all these are agreed on, the joint by-partisan talks remain suspended. Kenya Kwanza has up to midnight today to comply,” the opposition’s statement said.

The coalition disclosed that its bi-partisan team had briefed the PG on Kenya Kwanza’s offers, but insisted they cannot warrant a return to the talks.

“…Kenya Kwanza has offered that the joint co-chairs should write to the IEBC Selection Panel requesting them to halt the process for about 21-30 days and to preserve the IEBC's Presidential Election Servers.”

“It has also expressed willingness to co-author a letter to the IEBC reminding them of their legal obligation to preserve the Presidential Election Servers and the data contained therein.”

Azimio revealed that Kenya Kwanza has equally asked that the co-chairpersons meet tomorrow to discuss and write the required letters so that the Joint Bipartisan Talks can continue.

“With regard to interference in Jubilee, Kenya Kwanza has indicated willingness to commit in writing to respect the ruling of the Political Parties Tribunal confirming the Jubilee Party leadership.”

“They have no offers on lowering the cost of living because they are married to the Finance Bill, and we have a plan for the Bill.”