Ruto team to Azimio: Withdrawal from talks premature, unnecessary

Ruling coalition claims Azimio did not exhaust all avenues of conflict resolution

In Summary

• Muragura has invited Otiende for co-chairs meeting on Monday.

• Otiende told the Star he will not attend the meeting.

Kenya Kwanza members of the bipartisan committee leave Parliament after addressing the media on May 25, 2023
Kenya Kwanza members of the bipartisan committee leave Parliament after addressing the media on May 25, 2023

President William Ruto troops in the bipartisan team on Thursday termed Azimio move to walk out of the talks premature and unnecessary.

The team led by Tharaka MP George Murugara claimed their counterparts did not exhaust all avenues of conflict resolution as provided in the committee's framework agreement.

He cited Clause 34 (d) that requires the co-chairs to escalate any sticky matter to the principals.

This clause, he noted, was not exploited by Azimio.

“By Azimio side invoking Clause 37 of the framework agreement is pre-mature. The team should have invoked Clause 34(d) to allow us chairs to consult and discuss issues with the assistance of our leaders,” Murugara said.  

The government side also accused the opposition of creating unnecessary roadblocks on the path of the bipartisan talks.

Murugara said his side had heeded to most of the demands made by the Azimio but the opposition insisted on introducing more issues derailing the progress of the talks.

“We are telling them not to put unnecessary roadblocks on the talks as this is not sustainable and also not in good faith. The Azimio team has been coming up with demands and counterdemands as well as issuing threats yet we have on several occasions bent our rules and gave in to their demands,” the Tharaka MP stated.

Azimio has insisted that Kenya Kwanza should cease invading their affiliate parties, especially Jubilee that the opposition is on the verge of losing to the ruling coalition.

He said he will be writing to his co-chairperson Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo not only as a formal response to Azimio communication on interim issues but also invite him for a co-chair meeting on Monday.

“I will be writing to my co-chair by close of business today (yesterday) and I will be sending an invitation to him for a meeting on Tuesday at 2.30pm so that we can reconcile and resume talks,” Murugara said.

Contacted, Otiende told the Star he will not attend the Monday meeting unless Kenya Kwanza is prepared to concede on the four issues raised by our side.

“Our letter was a notification which does not require a response, the only response we would have is a communication by them that they are prepared to concede to our request on the four interim measures, anything else we do not need,” Otiende told the Star on the phone.

“There is nothing we can discuss between the two of us when as a whole plenary we could not agree on those issues. We will not be accepting any invitation to any meeting; we will not attend any meeting. It is a waste of time.”

Before suspending talks, Azimio demanded cessation of invasion of coalition affiliate parties especially Jubilee Party, preservation of IEBC presidential servers and reducing the high cost of living.

The opposition also demanded suspension of the IEBC commissioners selection process.

Murugara further reiterated Kenya Kwanza commitment to the talks adding the country cannot continue for long without a substantive IEBC in place.

“The country cannot continue to operate for long without IEBC commissioners in place, we are ready for talks,” Murugara said.

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