Azimio threatens to quit talks if key concerns are not addressed

Azimio leaders

Azimio la Umoja–One Kenya Coalition Party leaders addressing press conference in Karen on May 24,2023.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo I Nation Media Group

The Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition yesterday gave a six-day ultimatum to President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance to address concerns raised by the bipartisan talks team, including cessation of interference with Jubilee Party, or they will deem the talks to have collapsed and resort to other actions.

This followed a meeting between the coalition’s leadership and its bipartisan talks team led by Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo at the SKM Command Centre in Nairobi.

In a statement read by Democratic Action Party Kenya (DAP-K) leader Eugene Wamalwa, the coalition accused President Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza team of not being serious in addressing substantive issues, including lowering the cost of living, audit of the electoral commission servers, reconstituting polls body and ending interference with its affiliate parties.

“The meeting resolved and has given authority to our team in the bipartisan talks to issue a notice of dissolution of the talks in the event Kenya Kwanza will not publicly accede to the interim measures in the next six days in line with the provisions of the framework agreement,” Mr Wamalwa read. He added that: “Thereafter the Azimio Coalition will communicate our next cause of action at a PG (parliamentary group meeting) scheduled for Tuesday next week.”

The coalition also demanded that the Registrar of Political Parties leaves office for being partisan in the Jubilee Party wars.

“The Registrar of Political Parties Ms Anne Nderitu must leave office in view of clear manifestations that she has been co-opted into partisan and illegal schemes by Kenya Kwanza to cripple instead of protecting political parties. Anne Nderitu no longer enjoys the confidence of her clients, the political parties,” the coalition said. Mr Wamalwa said Kenya Kwanza must end efforts to “incapacitate, kill or take over other parties”.

“We hasten to add that the desire to kill political parties goes beyond the attacks going on and include efforts by the Kenya Kwanza regime to deny funding to Azimio-affiliated political parties,” he said.

By-elections call

The coalition resolved that all Jubilee MPs who have crossed the floor and joined Kenya Kwanza must go for by-elections and those who hold their positions by virtue of their nomination by Azimio must have their nominations revoked. Jubilee has 29 MPs and five senators—with only five of them still loyal to ex-President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Azimio also faulted the Kenya Kwanza team in the talks of being “several teams in one; the members are answering to different bosses and are not moving in the same direction. They are getting different instructions and are clearly pulling in different directions”. The coalition said this was deliberate.

“Kenya Kwanza sees the talks as a process of managing the political situation, calming down the political temperatures and continuing with business as usual,” Azimio charged.

Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka, Senate Deputy Whip and ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna, senators Enoch Wambua (Kitui) and Ledama Olekina (Narok), and MPs David Pkosing (Pokot South), Millie Odhiambo (Suba North) and Amina Mnyazi (Malindi), among others, attended the briefing.

Azimio claimed that the destabilisation of Jubilee is sponsored by the highest level of Kenya Kwanza leadership with the aim of ensuring that the alliance obtains a super majority in Parliament to amend the constitution to remove presidential term limits and abolish devolution, among others.

“Kenya Kwanza also wants to remove the necessity of Parliament approving every tax measure and wants to give the President the power to impose some taxes without always having to go through a Finance Bill,” they said.

Azimio said it recognises the resolutions of Jubilee’s special National Delegates Convention, including the change of leadership, “which must be taken as final”.

“Kenya Kwanza must make no mistake that Azimio will do everything possible to protect its affiliate parties from these heinous attacks. We ask all Kenyans to join us in protecting multiparty democracy for which many Kenyans lost their lives,” said Mr Wamalwa.