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Election 2022: Inside Uhuru, Raila, Kalonzo power deal

President Uhuru Kenyatta and KANU chairman Gideon Moi when they visited Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka at his Karen home. [Dennis Kavisu]

President Uhuru Kenyatta, Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka and ODM leader Raila Odinga will share power equally if the latter wins the presidential election and forms the next government in August.

A “deed of agreement” signed by the three leaders shows they agreed to form a coalition party named “Azimio One Kenya” comprising of three “caucuses”–ODM, Jubilee and One Kenya Alliance (OKA).

Kanu chairman Gideon Moi and Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu signed as witnesses to the agreement titled “Azimio One Kenya; A deed of agreement in respect of the Azimio One Kenya; being a coalition political party, focused on fostering national unity, inclusivity and prosperity.”

In terms of forming and organising the next government, the deed affirms categorically that the parties to it (coalition partners) will form a coalition government. It sets out four principles for formation and organisation of the government.

The first is national aspiration for an inclusive, democratic and participatory governance. The second is equality and equity, including affirmative action among the coalition partners. The third is utmost good faith among coalition partners and the fourth adherence to the terms of the coalition agreement.

The Sunday Standard understands that the common understanding of the signatories to the “equality and equity” principle is a 33 per cent apiece share of government for the three caucuses. The parties to the deed are obligated to promote objectives of the coalition agreement. At the apex of the coalition party leadership is the Party Leader and a Deputy Party Leader. Below them is a powerful seven-member Council, the Coalition Council, which is essentially the top political leadership organ of the party.

Other organs of the coalition party are the National Coalition Executive Committee, National Secretariat headed by an Executive Director, Coalition Parliamentary Group, County Coalition Caucus, National Disciplinary Committee and Dispute Resolution Panel. Each of the three caucuses - Jubilee, ODM and Wiper, will produce two members to the Council. But the three can expand and form new caucuses as long as they involve the Council.

“In such an eventuality, the Coalition partners shall deposit with Coalition Council any resolutions made and agreements entered into regarding the formation of such a caucus. The inaugural caucuses of the coalition are the Jubilee caucus, the ODM caucus and the OKA caucus,” the deed reads.

The Council will run the coalition, give policy directions, authorise the execution of coalition agreement and also be responsible for admitting other members on terms they will agree. It will be convened by the party leader or his deputy in consultation with the Council.

Besides the party leader and his deputy, other officials of the coalition party are national chair, vice chair, secretary general and their deputy, treasurer and their deputy, organising secretary and their deputy and executive director.

These will run the party’s NEC reporting to the Council. Immediately after the August election, the party will form the coalition’s parliamentary group (PG) comprising all elected and nominated members of either the coalition party or constituent parties of the coalition.

“The leadership of the coalition party PG shall be determined by the coalition council,” the deed reads.

Modelled along similar lines as the PG is the Coalition County Caucus comprising of all coalition party Members of County Assembly elected or nominated. Again, the Council shall determine the leadership of this caucus.

“The slogan of the coalition shall be ‘Azimio: One Kenya” or such other formulation as may be agreed by the Coalition Council,” it says.

Resolution of the various coalition party organs, including the Council, shall be by consensus. If there is no consensus on a matter, a vote shall be taken and where there is a tie, the chair of the organ’s single vote shall decide the matter. In terms of election management, the deed provides for a coalition election board comprising of five members and coalition election appeals board of seven members, both appointed by the Council.

“Jurisdiction of the election board and appeals board shall be limited to candidates of the coalition and coalition matters and shall not override competent bodies of the constituent parties,” the deed decrees.

The objectives set out in Article 2 of the agreement are to mobilise people to a free and fair election, formation of an inclusive government, zero tolerance to corruption, promotion of national unity, equitable distribution of national resources and upholding respect of individuals and communities. Others are to create and foster internationally competitive nation, promote peaceful coexistence, security and safety of all Kenyans and placing greater focus on consultation and citizen participation.

The guiding values to the deal include integrity, transparency, accountability, mutual trust and respect, patriotism, democracy, constitutionalism and rule of law, human rights, dignity and freedom, empowerment of youth and people’s participation in decision making. Others are gender parity, devolution, media freedom, vibrant civil society, meritocracy in public service, good governance and sustainable development.

The agreement also lists “accessibility in leadership” as one of the values, ostensibly to bind partners from locking each other out once in power. Historically, access to leaders, especially president’s, is controlled affair entailing both political and security functions. After the 2002 presidential elections, top politicians who supported retired President Mwai Kibaki found it difficult to access him. Kibaki was ailing at the time.

On Friday, Kalonzo told a Kamba vernacular station that once Raila is handed instruments of power, he may not be readily accessible even to President Kenyatta. In its vision and mission, the agreement commits to “strengthen devolution and transfer more functions and resources to county governments.” It requires partners to progressively but expeditiously align their constitutions and manifesto to the coalition objectives.