Bipartisan talks: Kenya Kwanza submits names of team to Parliament

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula at Parliament on April 12, 2023. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Kenya Kwanza Alliance has officially submitted the names of the seven-committee members to participate in the bipartisan talks, to Parliament.

In a letter presented in the House on April 18, the president attached a motion to the National Assembly Leader of Minority seeking their concurrence on the bipartisan engagement.

"The speaker of the Senate and I have consulted and agreed that there is a need to achieve bipartisan and bicameral consensus on this matter. Attached in the letter forwarding the seven names is a draft of a motion proposing the establishment of a joint select committee. Speakers of minority and majority in the House should consult and present to parliament a harmonized proposed motion at earliest opportunity," the letter read in part.

"This process can only be successful if there is absolute engagement from both parties. We have been consulting with leaders in the minority and a motion can only come once we have the reference of what the committee is going to talk about," MP Kimani Ichungwa said.

Azimio had earlier on Tuesday declined to take part in the parliamentary process claiming it is disguised as bipartisan, yet neither the team nor the minority leadership were involved.

Leader of Minority Opiyo Wandayi said that there was still need to come to agreement on the nature of the talks, citing Azimio's demands concerning the talks.

"We still have a lot to cover, there seems not to be concurrence on the nature of this talk. The bipartisan committee must have a clear mandate, mechanism, time frame for talks to be inclusive".

The committee members are supposed to facilitate bipartisan engagement in Parliament on the reconstitution of the selection panel on the recruitment of election body members among other issues.

Kenya Kwanza's team comprises of Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, Bomet Senator Hillary Sigei, Nominated Senator Esther Okenyuri, Tharaka MP George Murugara, Kibwezi West MP Mwengi Mutuse, Eldas MP Adan Keynan and Taita Taveta Woman Representative Lydia Haika.

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