Raila Odinga
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Meddle with Nadco report and pay heavy price, Azimio tells Speakers Wetang'ula and Kingi

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Azimio Party leader Raila Odinga (centre) addresses the press on March 5, 2024 at SKM Centre in Nairobi. He is flanked by Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka (left) and Jubilee Party Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni.

Photo credit: Billy Ogada | Nation Media Group

The opposition has asked President Ruto to rein in the Speakers of the two Houses of Parliament and members of the Executive, whom they accuse of derailing the implementation of the National Dialogue Committee (Nadco) report.

This follows a meeting of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party’s top decision-making organ. The meeting was attended by Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga, his Wiper counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka, National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi, and Jubilee Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni.

“We have been adequately briefed on Nadco, including the nine bills that have been lined up for implementation,” Mr Kioni said in a joint statement. “We thank Parliament for passing the report, which was a product of bipartisan consensus and wide public participation. We maintain that the report must be implemented as is.”

Last week on Tuesday, a meeting of Parliament's leaders failed to reach a consensus, with MPs allied to President William Ruto calling for public input on the proposed laws, a proposal Mr Odinga's camp rejected. That meeting was attended by National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula, his Senate counterpart Amason Kingi, the majority and minority leaders, as well as the majority and minority whips and technical staff from both Houses.

"It is also our position that the processing of the Nadco report and related bills should be expedited," Azimio leaders said in their statement. "Regrettably, we have been informed of forces in Kenya Kwanza, inside and outside Parliament, as well as a number of members of the National Executive, who are determined to undermine the report."

They also fired a warning shot, saying, should efforts to undermine or tamper with the report be successful, "there will be a heavy price to pay".

Azimio's argument is that the Bills are the product of a negotiated process. As such, the bills proposed by the parliamentary team of legal experts should simply sail through as is. Reacting to these assertions, National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah said “there are no shortcuts in the legislative process”.

The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2023 seeks, among other things, to enshrine the office of the Official Leader of the Opposition in the Constitution, amend the law to expand the membership of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission selection panel, and entrench party discipline by dealing with errant members who promote the ideologies of rival parties.