Karua, Eugene Wamalwa Reject Recommendations By Dialogue Committee
Karua began by questioning the 296-page report released on Saturday, November 25 by the committee co-chaired by former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Kikuyu Member of Parliament Kimani Ichung'wah.
Azimio la Umoja principals, Martha Karua and Eugene Wamalwa, expressed their dissenting opinions on the recommendations from the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) tabled by members from both Azimio and the Kenya Kwanza coalitions.
Karua began by taking to X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, November 26 and questioning the 296-page report released on Saturday, November 25 by the committee co-chaired by former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Kikuyu Member of Parliament Kimani Ichung'wah.
The NARC-Kenya party leader outrightly expressed that she would reject the report if it did not address priority issues such as the cost of living, electoral justice, and respect for multiparty democracy.
Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka (Left) and National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah (Right) presenting the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) report on November 25, 2023. /KIMANI ICHUNG'WAH
"Any purported agreement that does not immediately impact on the cost of living, electoral justice and respect for multiparty democracy is a fraud on the people and must be rejected," she stated.
On his part, Wamalwa, who is a member of the NADCO committee and the Democratic Action Party Kenya (DAP-K) leader, vowed not to sign the report as he claimed it did not comprehensively address the issue of the high cost of living.
“I didn’t and will not append my signature to the NADCO report and have not and will not accept any sitting allowance for the same because I believe we did not do justice to the single most important issue to Kenyans; the cost of living,” he told congregants in Tingolo Catholic Church in Busia County.
NADCO had recommended that all arms of government reduce their travel budgets by 50% and that the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) review Daily Subsistence Allowances for State and Public Officers with a view to reducing them by 30%.
It also recommended that the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum in liaison with the National Treasury reduce the road maintenance levy and the anti-adulteration levy by Ksh5 and Ksh3 per litre respectively.
"NADCO recommends that the National Government finalizes the transfer of all devolved functions and provides for the concomitant resources to the county governments.
"NADCO recommends that Parliament shall amend the Constitution to provide for the equitable share to the County Governments not to be less than 20% of all revenue collected by the National Government from the current 15%," read the report in part.
However, the two coalitions were unable to reach a consensus on a number of proposals on the matter, including the reduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel from 16% to 8%, and scrapping of the housing levy, the twin issues in the Finance Act 2023.
Earlier, President William Ruto welcomed the recommendations by NADCO, citing the practicality of the provisions in the final report.
“You’ve heard that those in charge of the Dialogue are done with that work, and we applaud them for finishing that task, let us join hands and take Kenya forward,” Ruto stated while addressing congregants at the Priesthood Fellowship in Kahawa West, Roysambu Constituency.
“They have given recommendations all those recommendations are okay. Where they said we lessen Government spending by 50%, I have done that already. For those calling for lessening to be done by 30%, I suggest that they increase it to 50% for Kenya to move forward. We must learn to live within our means.”
Kalonzo and Ichung'wah jointly expressed the firm belief that the NADCO report addressed the issues that formed the basis of the talks and the recommendations therein "will progressively heal our wounds, foster togetherness, promote national unity restore our national pride, and usher us to greater prosperity."
Azimio la Umoja leader, Raila Odinga, by the time of publishing this story, was yet to publicly comment on the NADCO report.