Why Azimio turned down offer to resume bipartisan talks
The opposition’s Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition says it is not keen to resume bipartisan talks with President William Ruto’s government.
While addressing a public rally at the Kamukunji grounds in Nairobi on June 27, 2023, former Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa accused the government side of lacking commitment towards the talks.
“We as the people have decided to end the bilateral talks as one of our resolutions,” Wamalwa announced.
He spoke as the Kenya Kwanza committee steering the talks led by co-chairperson George Murugara his side was ready to go back to the negotiation table.
“We have written to the Azimio team to come on board for the bilateral talks on July 4, 2023. The talks will be about the IEBC selection panel,” said Murugara.
The talks between the two camps were halted in May 2023 after the Kenya Kwanza bipartisan team accused the Azimio la Umoja side of being disinterested in the dialogue.
Kenya Kwanza argues that Azimio cannot be interested in dialogue while at the same time spearheading protests against the government.
“We are prepared, for the sake of our beloved country to bend in different directions over and over again so that these talks are successful as we heed the call from President William Ruto for peace in the country and for dialogue over the issues of mutual interest affecting Kenyans,” said Murugara.
“The only issue we have with our colleagues is the oxymoron in their speeches. On one hand, they insist on a structured dialogue. On the other, they are for violent protests in the name of demonstrations and picketing. We regret we cannot accede to this at all.”
Some of the issues presented by Azimio that were to be addressed during the talks include the cost of living, audit of the 2022 presidential elections results, restructuring and reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commision (IEBC) plus the government’s supposed interference with political parties.