A cordial start for the delicate crisis talks between the president William Ruto led Kenya Kwanza Alliance and Raila Odinga’s Azimio One Kenya Coalition marked a smooth commencement of dialogue talks at the Bomas of Kenya even as Azimio enlisted new members as ‘backup’ in the expanded dialogue team.
The talks began yesterday.
Azimio’s lead negotiator Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka (Azimio) and Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire (Kenya Kwanza) chaired the second attempt meeting after the initial one failed prompting the two sides to name a new 10-member joint committee.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka appealed to both parties to commit and put the interests of Kenyans first. Kalonzo reiterated Azimio’s stance that the dialogue talks were not party issues.
He assured citizens that the Raila Odinga led party shall niot negotiate for any form of power sharing with Kenya Kwanza or put any personal interests ahead of the interest of the people.
“As a coalition, we are committed to the search for justice, unity, peace and prosperity for our country, in accordance with the ethos, values, principles and provisions of our Constitution.” Kalonzo noted.
Kalonzo also committed to negotiate in good faith and seek justice for all Kenyans, seek solutions that address interests of Kenyans, ensure respect for the Constitution and regularly and honestly update Kenyans on the developments throughout the process.
Other members in the Azimio team include; National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi, Democratic Action Party (DAP) leader, Eugene Wamalwa, Nyamira Senator Okongo Omogeni and Malindi MP Amina Mnyazi.
On the other hand, Kenya Kwanza team comprises of National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah, Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot, Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire, Bungoma Woman Rep Catherine Wambilianga and East Africa Legislative Assembly member Hassan Omar.
Also, Azimio team named Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni and Usawa Party Leader Mwangi Wa Iria as “backup members” to supports its expanded dialogue team.
Kalonzo also listed Roots Party Leader George Wajackoyah and lawyer Adams Oloo as alternate members of the team during an inaugural session with the ruling Kenya Kwanza Coalition yesterday.
Musyoka said the additional members will participate in subsequent sessions on the basis of mutual agreement by the two principal parties.
“I wish to appeal to this gathering not to gather in vain. I appeal to all of us to commit not to let our people down.” Kalonzo remarked during an introductory session at the Bomas of Kenya.
“That’s we shall put our people interest first. We therefore appeal we shall negotiate in good faith and genuinely seek a just outcome.” The former Vice President added.
The Azimio co-principal insisted that the coalition is not seeking to negotiate for a power sharing deal as projected by the Kenya Kwanza Coalition.
“We shall negotiate for any power sharing or personal interest ahead of the interest of Kenyans. We ask for your humble prayers as we seek to find a lasting solution.” He added.
Kalonzo emphasised the Azimio coalition has prioritised the rising cost of living as well as electoral reforms in talks with the ruling coalition.
Azimio returned to the table after bolting out of an initial round of talks citing an externally-mediated agreement.