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Nadco report: The Raila Odinga, President William Ruto big divide

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President William Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua receive the report of the National Dialogue Committee from co-chairs Kalonzo Musyoka and Kimani Ichung'wah at State House, Nairobi, on March 8.

Photo credit: Courtesy | PCS

President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza has appointed its three members to the panel for the evaluation of the 2022 electoral process, even as a fresh war of words erupted between his camp and that of Azimio leader Raila Odinga over the implementation of the Bomas talks report.

The trio — Ms Cecilia Ng’etich, Dr Linda Musumba and former County Assemblies Forum (CAF) chairman Ndegwa Wahome — will now work with Mr Odinga’s team consisting of former Busia senator Amos Wako, former nominated senator Judith Pareno and forensic expert Julius Njiraini.

Mr Wahome, who is the current Deputy President of the East African Local Governments Association (EALCGA), is also the former Nyandarua assembly speaker.

According to the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) report, the leadership of the majority and minority coalitions were required to appoint a panel to evaluate the 2022 electoral process within 21 days of the report’s adoption by Parliament.

“The Panel shall consist of six experts. The majority and minority parties or coalition of parties shall each nominate three experts, and the panel shall jointly appoint a reputable firm or a consortium of firms to undertake the evaluation,” states the report.

But even as Kenya Kwanza indicated their willingness to ensure full implementation of the report, Mr Odinga’s camp has accused it of a secret plot to sabotage its full operationalisation through “a court process”.

Already, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, who together with National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah co-chaired the talks, has alleged a government “scheme to derail implementation of the report”.

Mr Musyoka and DAP-K party leader Eugene Wamalwa have questioned the timing of the High Court orders stopping the implementation of the report.

The High Court, sitting in Kiambu, last week suspended the implementation of the report after a petitioner raised concerns regarding its contents.

Mr Musyoka warned that should the Kenya Kwanza regime try to “interfere with the IEBC reconstitution” which was part of the committee’s mandate, then they would go back to the streets.

“Kenyans are tired and they will come out like the Senegalese. Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President William Ruto need to come out and give direction. Otherwise, we will see that they have misused us,” Mr Musyoka asserted.

Mr Wamalwa accused Kenya Kwanza of using their proxies to derail the implementation of the NADCO report.

“Courts have their roles to interpret the laws that come out of the Nadco process, but cannot stop Parliament from discharging its legislative mandate and try to pre-empt a law that is coming.”

“By doing so there will be a dangerous precedent that will turn the courts into lawmakers which is not their duty,” Mr Wamalwa charged.

“We recognise the independence of the courts, but they should take judicial notice of public interest in this matter and not allow itself to be used in proxy political wars,” added Mr Wamalwa.

Mr Ichung’wah however, defended Kenya Kwanza from allegations of seeking to derail the NADCO report implementation, instead pointing an accusing finger at Mr Wamalwa who he accused of lacking goodwill after refusing to append his signature on the report.

Raila Odinga holds a copy of a copy of Nadco report

Azimio leader Raila Odinga holds a copy of a copy of Nadco report flanked by Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Majority leader Kimani Ichung’wah and other leaders at Capital Hill. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Refused to sign

“It is unfortunate that even a person like Eugene Wamalwa who refused to sign the report is now saying we don’t have goodwill. What greater goodwill did we need other than those of us in Kenya Kwanza signing while in Azimio Eugene refused to sign?” posed Mr Ichung’wah.

“I want to confirm the NADCO report as adopted by Parliament will be implemented and we have all the goodwill to implement that report in the manner it was passed,” he added.

“We have already published bills, IEBC Bill to reconstitute a new commission is already published and as soon as we reopen Parliament in another week we shall begin work on that Bill and all the other bills.”

He added: “Let Kalonzo not be so anxious that a certain Bill will not be passed. What the court has put an injunction on we shall handle it in court. Kalonzo, Eugene and their friends should know that even the President’s agenda of affordable housing was taken to court, but we went to court and the government defended the Finance Bill,” he said.

Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, however, insisted that NADCO was “all along meant as a pacifier for the restless masses, jobs for the big boys and pushing ahead the KK regime’s legislative agenda.”

“The urgent question which all people of goodwill must reflect on moving forward is what future do we want for ourselves and how can we make it happen,” said Ms Karua.

Mr Wamalwa accused Mr Ichung’wah of being “simplistic in his arguments over the NADCO report.”

“He was simplistic on his attacks against me on why I did not sign the report. The main issue that made life difficult is their so-called better plan has become bitter plan. The bottom-up economic agenda has clearly failed and resulted in increased tax burden on Kenyans instead of lowering it to ease life,” the DAP-K party leader told Nation yesterday.

He faulted the Kenya Kwanza administration for doubling the VAT on fuel from eight per cent to 16 per cent.

Tax milk and bread

“Their intention was to increase everything and this is where we hit a snag with them. Apart from 16 per cent on fuel, they want to impose it on basic commodities like milk and bread and this will hurt many Kenyans,” said Mr Wamalwa.

The NADCO report recommended that after the conduct of the evaluation process, the six-member panel shall harmonise the findings of the two firms and submit the harmonised report to Parliament.

“With respect to evaluation of the electoral process under Article 88(4) (h) after a general election, the Elections Act, 2011 be amended to provide for the scope of the evaluation, financing, and reporting,” the report states.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared Dr Ruto the winner of the August 2022 presidential after he received 50.49 per cent of the vote, while Mr Odinga got 48.85 per cent.

Mr Odinga rejected the outcome, alleging rigging and opaqueness of the electoral body, but his election petition was thrown out by the Supreme Court that affirmed Dr Ruto’s win.

The opposition, led by Mr Odinga, resorted to street protests but later agreed to enter into dialogue with the ruling Kenya Kwanza regime, leading to bipartisan talks that birthed the NADCO report.