Karua: Dialogue committee report a fraud

Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua has dismissed the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) report, saying it did not address issues facing ordinary citizens.

“It is a fraud upon Kenyans. It should be frowned upon and rejected. That is the verdict of Narc Kenya,” said Ms Karua.

Speaking at the party headquarters in Nairobi where she held discussions with party members Thursday, Karua said despite the initial anti-government demonstrations triggered by soaring living expenses, the three-month deliberations between the government and opposition failed to provide any solution to the underlying issues that initially prompted the talks.

According to her, the report not only failed on the issue of cost of living but also the audit of the 2022 presidential elections and fidelity among political parties and coalitions.

“The NADCO report totally fails on the issue of cost of living and has instead served Kenyans with a contempt card,” she said.

“Unfortunately, the findings confirmed that the committee was formed by the unwilling Kenya Kwanza and was intended to buy time,” added Karua. Narc Kenya’s stance differs from that of Azimio, as articulated by its leader Raila Odinga last week. Raila stated that the report marks the beginning but it remains imperfect and unfinished.

While Azimio did not wholly reject the report, it, similar to Narc Kenya, expressed profound regret over the committee’s failure to reach an agreement on addressing the critical issue of the cost of living.

Despite the different views on the report, Karua maintained that the party remains an integral part of the coalition.

“Azimio coalition is a democratic coalition with room for divergent views,” said Karua.

Further, she castigated the government’s lack of prioritisation, citing instances such as the compulsory housing levy and punitive taxes that have led to business closures and job losses.

Karua also took issue with what she termed as extravagant foreign travels amidst economic fragility and the loss of public funds through corruption scandals like the edible oils saga.

“The very idea of social support and subsidies to enable citizens to afford the necessities of life cannot be gainsaid. Yet, the insensitive Kenya Kwanza regime has consistently increased or hiked the cost of living even though the majority of citizens are wallowing in biting poverty and misery,” she noted.

Karua underscored the significance of conducting a comprehensive audit of the 2022 elections, not just the electoral process. According to her, entrusting the matter to Parliament would prove futile since the august House is compromised. 

“Kenyans have a right and need to know the truth about the 2022 elections,” said Karua.

Extensive audit

She is advocating the delay of the appointment of electoral commissioners to allow for an extensive audit, emphasising that electoral transparency was not solely about the 2022 elections but crucial for future elections.

Karua blamed government for the breakdown of the talks while emphasising that the success of any dialogue hinges on the sincere and genuine efforts of those in power.

“Our reading is that the Ruto regime lacked sincerity in making the talks succeed and deliberately sabotaged the people’s demands while presenting their parliamentary agenda as their demands,” she said.