How Divisions In Ruto Team Are Disrupting Bipartisan Talks- Azimio

The coalition believed that Kenya Kwanza was taking instructions from different sources outside their jurisdiction

How Divisions In Ruto Team Are Disrupting Bipartisan Talks- Azimio
Side by side image of President William Ruto and Raila Odinga. /FILE

The Azimio la Umoja coalition on Wednesday, May 24 claimed that the divisions within the Kenya Kwanza team are contributing to the stalemate in the bipartisan talks.

In a press conference at SKM Command Centre in Nairobi, leader Raila Odinga claimed that an unnamed individual with sinister motives was out to scuttle the talks and provoke Azimio to resume bi-weekly demonstrations.

The coalition believed that Kenya Kwanza was taking instructions from different sources outside their jurisdiction, ruining their capability of holding, or maintaining the momentum of the talks.

"The Kenya Kwanza side is essentially several teams in one; the members are answering to different bosses and are not moving in the same direction.

"They are getting different instructions and areas clearly pulling in different directions. Secondly, Kenya Kwanza has no clear direction on whether the talks should proceed or not," Raila stated.

Azimio further explained that Kenya Kwanza was intentionally using the talks to reduce political temperatures by the negotiators behaving like individuals without a plan, and continuing with their antics, thus avoiding reaching a logical conclusion.

Azimio also believed that President William Ruto had become powerless to control the dividing factions within its 7-member bipartisan team.

"Deliberately, they have no clear direction from Mr William Ruto on how to proceed. Kenya Kwanza sees the talks as a process of managing the political situation, calming down the political temperatures and continuing with business as usual.

"The destabilization of the Jubilee Party is a do-or-die agenda, sponsored by the highest level of Kenya Kwanza leadership whose aim is to ensure Kenya Kwanza obtains a supermajority in parliament and amend the constitution, remove presidential term limits, abolish devolution and remove the independence of constitutional commissions and place them as part of the Presidency," read part of the statement by Raila Odinga.

Raila however warned that the coalition was privy to the games being played by the negotiators from the government's side, and as a result, hinted at announcing new resolutions.

Azimio also alleged that Kenya Kwanza had turned down all the demands that were tabled by Raila's coalition.

"Unfortunately, our team met resistance, hostility and outright rejection on all the desired preliminary actions. Kenya Kwanza could not commit to stopping the invasion of Jubilee, preservation of the servers, interim measures at reduction of cost of unga and suspension of the process of hiring new IEBC commissioners.

"In other words, Kenya Kwanza wants to continue with measures that make the cost of living even more expensive, they want to interfere with the IEBC servers, proceed with the picking of new IEBC commissioners and continue invading Azimio parties while we sit in board rooms talking about the same issues," the statement read in part.

Following the stalemate, the Azimio delegation decided that if the interim issues could not be guaranteed, there would be no need to move into substantive issues.

Raila also noted that the framework agreement that set up the talks provides for a seven-day suspension of talks in the event of a stalemate, an agreement which they followed.

Azimio endorsed the decision by their team to suspend bipartisan talks and that the negotiations will be considered collapsed if nothing substantive happens within the next seven days.

“We endorse the decision by our delegation to walk out of the talks. Until Kenya Kwanza agrees to deal with the interim issues raised by our team, the talks will remain suspended.

"If at the end of the seven days, we will not be able to resume, the talks will be considered to have collapsed," Raila warned President Ruto. 

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (left) arriving at Mukami Kimathi's funeral in Nyandarua on Saturday, May 13, 2023 and greeting President William Ruto (right). /TWITTER.OLIVER MATHENGE