Cost of living will make or break talks, Opposition leaders insist

Written by on 14 November 2023

A clear pathway to addressing the high cost of living could break or make the talks of the National Dialogue Committee currently on a retreat to write the report after months of negotiations.

Azimio leaders have stood their ground that they will not append sign the document should the issue of addressing the high cost of living miss in the report.

Yesterday, the 10-member team negotiators committee co-chaired with National Assembly Majority leader Kimani Ichung’wah (Kikuyu) and Wiper boss Kalonzo Musyoka are said to have checked in at Stoni Athi Resort to conclude the report amid growing concern that a deal may not be reached.

Sources told People Daily that the talks could go up in smoke if the Kenya Kwanza administration does not yield to demands that the Finance Act be repealed.

Azimio leaders have maintained  that unless the Finance Act, which was passed in June, is repealed, the cost of living will be unbearable for majority of Kenyans.

“The deal breaker to this report will be the cost of living. Our team are under firm instructions that they should not append their signatures to the report if it does not have a substantive way of addressing the cost of living,” said a source who sought anonymity.

He went on: “Azimio insisted that for the cost of living to come down, then the Finance Act should be repealed.”

While in Vihiga on Saturday, leaders allied to opposition leader Raila Odinga said President Ruto’s administration had failed to heed the people’s calls to lower the cost of living, adding that the administration had made a string of bad policies that have exacerbated the situation.

“If there will be no way of lowering the cost of living, there will be no deal to sign as Azimio team. We will ensure the report has the will of the people before we sign it and hand over the report to Parliament,” Kalonzo said over the weekend.

Democratic Action Party leader Eugene Wamalwa, who is a member of the committee, said they will not sign the report if it does not have a clear strategy of lowering the cost of living.

“We will ensure the report addresses this issue of cost of living or else we will not sign it,” said Wamalwa.

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