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Why Martha Karua is not ‘comfortable’ with bipartisan talks

By Wangu Kanuri October 24th, 2023 2 min read

Narc-party leader Martha Karua has criticized President William Ruto for prolonging the bipartisan discussions between the government and the opposition.

In a recent interview, Karua, who contested as running mate to Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga, referenced past regimes, asserting that, in a genuine administration, such deliberations would have concluded in under a month.

Expressing her dissatisfaction with the continual changes to the timeline, she remarked, “As a person, I am deeply disappointed that we keep moving the talks’ deadline. Initially, Azimio had called for 30 days only. They should have ended by the 30th of August then came to the talks which moved it to 60 days beginning the 1st of September, now again it’s been shifted to the 30th by another 30 days going to November. I am very unhappy, very uncomfortable with that but our delegates in the talks seem to accept that there is a necessity for that and we go by the majority.”

Additionally, she highlighted the pressing concerns of Kenyans, emphasizing the rising cost of living since the time of the Azimio la Umoja protests.

She commented, “Where a regime is serious, talks should never exceed a month. And where you see a regime bringing its own issues which were not the subject of the demonstrations know that they are buying time. The Ruto regime needs time. Kenyans need actions, for them, time is a savior. Why are we prioritizing the constitutional amendments like that was the crisis? The crisis we had up to now is the cost of living and the use of the rule of law like the demolition of Mavoko.”

Late last month, Azimio la Umoja One Kenya leader Raila Odinga chaired a crisis meeting to deliberate on the coalition’s engagement with the ruling alliance.

In the meeting, the Azimio leaders alleged a deliberate scheme by the Kenya Kwanza Alliance to frustrate the talks by delaying any substantive discussions on the substantive agenda items.

The talks team had planned to conclude the negotiations within 60 days.

The talks, with the blessings of President Ruto and Odinga, have brought together politicians from both the government and opposition side. They are co-chaired by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and National Assembly Majority leader Kimani Ichungwa.

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