Expert: Role of Kenyans in the Azimio-Kenya Kwanza dialogue

Governance expert Dr. Brian Mutie. [Screen Grab, Spice FM]

Questions have arisen on whether Kenyans will be involved in the forthcoming dialogue between the Azimio Coalition and the ruling Kenya Kwanza on national issues.

This comes as leaders from the two main political outfits lay grounds to able issues of contention in the talks, which are to be chaired by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

On Sunday, July 30, both President William Ruto and Azimio revealed details of a private meeting between the Head of State and the former Prime Minister.

Azimio said the meeting was to plan for the talks which are to start this week.

A section of netizens now want the talks live-streamed, while others vouch for frequent updates from the parties involved.

According to Brian Mutie, an expert in governance, live streaming might pose a challenge to the talks. However, he says it is important to keep Kenyans updated since it is an issue of national concern.

“Citizens have all the rights to information under the constitution, but to request that the proceedings be live on air is a good idea but over-ambitious. This is a high-voltage discussion and I think the method used during Kofi Annan mediation was good. We could not see everything that was happening but citizens were treated to some sections which were live. This is something that we can borrow from,” he says.

Mutie was speaking on Tuesday, August 1 morning, during an interview with Spice FM. He has also urged Kenyans to trust their elected leaders to represent them.

He argues that once the talks begin, the parties might resolve to carry out public participation to get views on some of the issues to be discussed.

“We have already delegated our power to them and it is fair to assume that they will include our needs as citizens in that discussion. Therefore, they need to trust they will be well represented and if during the pre-trial gives a door for citizens to contribute opens, then they will give their contribution,” he said.

So far, Azimio la Umoja coalition has officially unveiled the names of five negotiators with Kenya Kwanza including Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, DAP party leader Eugene Wamalwa, National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi, Malindi MP Amina Mnyazi and Nyamira Senator Okong’o Omogeni.

The team which will be led by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has given Kenya Kwanza a one-month ultimatum for the completion of talks.

Kenya Kwanza on the other hand is yet to unveil its team and respond to the ultimatum issued by Azimio.

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