Raila Odinga's terms and conditions for bipartisan talks

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya leader Raila Odinga. [Dennish Ochieng, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya has revealed its terms for bipartisan talks with the Kenya Kwanza side on some of the issues the opposition raised in its list of grievances.

The coalition’s leader Raila Odinga on Thursday, April 6 said the bipartisan team should recommend measures to reduce the cost of living, conduct a forensic analysis of the IEBC servers, review the process of appointing and dismissing IEBC commissioners, recommend legal policies to strengthen Kenya’s electoral system that would guarantee free and fair elections and resolve to have disloyal MPs quitting their seats in order to seek fresh election.

“Kenya Kwanza implored us to give dialogue, especially during the holy periods of Easter and Ramadhan, [a chance]. It is in this context that we agreed to call off the protests and give dialogue a chance,” said Odinga in a press statement on Thursday at Stoni Athi Resort in Machakos County during Azimio la Umoja Parliamentary Group meeting.

The former prime minister revealed Azimio’s conditions for their participation in the bipartisan talks.

“We shall send our members to the select joint committee whose terms of reference shall be to: (a) Recommend measures to lower the cost of unga, fuel, electricity and school fees. (b) Conduct a review and forensic audit of the servers used by the IEBC before, during, and after the 2022 presidential election; (c) Review the appointment and dismissal of IEBC Commissioners, including their tenure of office, and recommend institutional, policy, legal, and constitutional mechanisms, restructuring and reforms of the IEBC.

“(d) Consider restructuring of IEBC by devolving structures to the counties and whether the country really needs commissioners working on permanent basis. (e) Recommend legal, policy, and institutional reforms to strengthen and improve the electoral system and processes to entrench a culture of free and fair elections administered in an impartial, transparent, simple, accurate, verifiable, and secure system;

“(f) Review the circumstances that led to the dismissal of the IEBC Commissioners, commonly known as the Cherera Four and reinstate them in office; (g) Review and recommend changes in the law that will entrench party discipline/fidelity by: (i) Requiring MPs who cross party lines after elections to seek a fresh mandate from the electorate; and (ii) To allow parties to replace nominated MPs who cross party lines.

“(h) Initiate legislation to address the electoral, governance and economic gaps identified during the inquiry, plus for consideration by the Houses as appropriate.”

Odinga further said that once the joint taskforce deliberates on the highlighted issues, then it will present its report to Parliament within 30 days of its establishment.

“We reserve our right to call for demonstrations should this process not bear fruit. Should there be no meaningful engagement, or response from Kenya Kwanza, we will not hesitate to mobilise Kenyans to demand their rights within the framework of Article 37 of the Constitution,” said Odinga.