Bipartisan Talks Committee Mandate Extended By 30 Days

Written by on 17 October 2023

Parliament has extended the mandate of the National Dialogue Committee leading bipartisan talks between the ruling Kenya Kwanza alliance and the opposition Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition.

The ten-member team sought to have their commission extended by 30 days from October 28 to allow them to conclude discussions before submitting a report on November 26.

“…The houses of Parliament resolve to extend the mandate of the National Dialogue Committee by a further 30 days from 28th October 2023,” National Assembly majority leader Kimani Ichung’wah, who is leading the Kenya Kwanza team in the talks, told the House on Tuesday.

“Consequently, the committee shall be required to report to the leadership of Kenya Kwanza and Azimio coalitions on or before 26th November 2023 and thereafter submit a report to Parliament.”

The committee was established through a parliamentary resolution passed on August 29 and given 60 days to deliberate key issues of interest to Kenyans and come up with a report.

It continues to deliberate on a five-point agenda; Outstanding Constitutional matters; Electoral justice and related matters; Entrenching funds into the Constitution; Establishment and entrenchment of State offices; and Fidelity to Political Parties/Coalitions and the law on multiparty democracy.

Azimio has previously said they will take another move if the bipartisan talks seem unpromising.

Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka last month said the opposition will not waste time in dialogue without signs their issues will be addressed.

“Before we talk of 2027, we must settle 2022 and that is why we have the bipartisan talks. We want to settle election injustice,” Musyoka, who is leading the Azimio delegation in the talks, told a roadside rally in Kisii County on September 2.

“Raila amesema tuwaangalie kwa macho kwa ile kikao na kama hawana haja then we shall think otherwise. We can’t waste time,” he added, referring to the coalition’s leader Raila Odinga.

Odinga on his part said they stopped anti-government protests to give the government a chance through dialogue but if President William Ruto’s administration will not cooperate, they will not hesitate to announce another way of airing their grievances.

“Sisi tunakubali mazungumzo, ndio maana tumeweka Kalonzo hapo. Tutawapa nafasi vizuri ili wazungumze na wakileta nyokonyoko si mko tayari?” posed the former Prime Minister who holds his presidential victory in last year’s polls was stolen from him by Dr Ruto.

Odinga has previously threatened the return of street demonstrations if the talks are not fruitful. The recent round of demos left over 20 people dead.

Previous talks in April and May broke down as both sides accused each other of sabotage.

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