Azimio piles up pressure on William Ruto over IEBC, cost of living and taxes

Azimio ruled out its participation in reconstituting the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) through a formula proposed by the Kenya Kwanza regime.

The coalition also committed to provide leadership to reverse rising prices of basic commodities.

A statement released after the meeting read, "Kenya Kwanza administration has put Kenyans in an existential struggle for survival. This trend must be resisted and reversed and Azimio has resolved to provide leadership needed to achieve this."

The opposition is also putting pressure on the government to reverse the huge tax burden it is imposing on Kenyans. The statement noted that taxes make up more than half of the price of goods and more than half of the people's income.

"Azimio has resolved that the Kenya Kwanza administration must be forced to take steps to bring down cost of goods and services and increase the minimum wage to keep it above inflation."

The party said the government should give timelines and stop false promises and rhetoric.

"The cost of living was to come down immediately the administration took power but today the administration does not even mention it. Unga was to trade at Sh70," the party said recalling one of UDA's key promises.

Azimio has also included in its agenda a push for restoration and expansion of social protection programmes which guarantee a basic monthly income to the poor.

They further urged Kenyans to mobilise alongside the opposition to oppose plans to sell off parastatals.

"These entities, some which are critical to our national security, must be allowed to continue serving public good rather than lining pockets of individuals," the statement read.

"The current attempt to amend the law so that these parastatals are sold at the whim of the new administration will be resisted by Kenyans."

The Raila Odinga-led coalition is also pushing the government to resume free education and return subsidies, as well as address what it referred to as confusion, chaos and mounting expenses and demands surrounding implementation of the Junior Secondary School (JSS) programme.

Azimio also touched on delay in disbursement of loans to university students.

They said the government must increase the amount available under the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) to match inflation.

They said to end the destitution prevailing in Kenyan universities, Kenya Kwanza administration must be forced to restore the old catering services in all public universities for all students to access decent meals.

Azimio also warned elected leaders from the party cosying up to President Ruto's administration that they will be dismissed from the party, and face loss of their seats.

The coalition said it was in a struggle for the country to ensure a good standard of living, democracy and to safeguard Kenya's hard-won multi-party political system that is under threat.

It said it would not tolerate acts that amount to a betrayal of the dreams and aspirations of the people of Kenya.

"Azimio therefore asks its elected leaders to shape up or ship out. There will be no two ways about this. The flirtations and co-habitations with the Kenya Kwanza regime under whatever pretext is totally unacceptable," Azimio said.

The statement said there were channels for seeking development through Parliament, not from State House.

"State House has no constitutional mandate or power to appropriate funds. That mandate and power resides in the two houses of Parliament; Senate and National Assembly.

"Our people must not succumb to the black mail, dirty politics and dirty money being dished out by the regime that is struggling for legitimacy," it said.