Three Kenyans move to court to challenge legality of Ruto-Raila talks team

National Dialogue Committee Co-chairs Kalonzo Musyoka and Kimani Ichung’wah at Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Three Kenyans on Friday, September 29 filed a petition challenging the legality and constitutionality of the National Dialogue Committee.

The petition filed in the High Court by three identified as Issa Elanyi Chamao, Patrick Karani Ekirapa, and Paul Ngweywo Kirui was addressed to the dialogue committee including their co-chairs Kimani Ichung’wa and Kalonzo Musyoka.

The petitioners stated that the Ruto-Raila talks team lacks a legal framework to guide in addressing its issues and finding possible solutions.

According to the trio, the ten-member dialogue committee “lacks a legal framework to guide the collection of views from members of the public in an inclusive and participatory process.”

Further, they argue that the team has allocated limited time in the collection of views on pertinent issues that could see the Constitution being amended and that some of the issues to be addressed seem to favor some.

“It is not clear how the issues addressed were arrived at. Some issues appear to safeguard the self-interest of the political elite,” the petition reads.

“Further, the committee lacks a legal framework to guide principles to be adhered to in conducting the public participation process, remuneration and general guidelines on how to conduct civic education, collection of views and formulation of issues, debate on the issues by the members of the public.”

According to the petitioners, there has not been any dissemination of information by the Kimani Ichung’wah and Kalonzo Musyoka chaired committee on how the public can fully understand and participate in the process despite the issues being addressed directly affecting them.

Additionally, by excluding civil societies from the committee, the direction of the talks is guided by the push for constitutional reforms that aim at satisfying politicians' political interests, they say.

The committee which was formed in August aimed at addressing the political differences between Kenya Kwanza and Azimio la Umoja.

To ensure equality, each coalition nominated five members to the committee. Those representing Kenya Kwanza include the National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah, Cecily Mbarire, Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, Hassan Omar Hassan, and Catherine Wambilianga.

The Azimio team is represented by Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka, National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi, Amina Mnyazi, Eugene Wamalwa, and Senator Okong’o Mogeni.

So far, the committee has had several sit-downs in which they have prioritized issues related to electoral justice

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