Inside Politics

Karua: Any purported agreement that does not immediately impact on cost of living is a fraud

Sunday, November 26th, 2023 15:05 | By
Karua: Any purported agreement that does not immediately impact on cost of living is a fraud
Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua during a past rally. PHOTO/ODM Party(@TheODMparty)/X

Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition co-principal Martha Karua has issued new ultimatums hours after the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) unveiled its final report on addressing the standoff between the opposition and the Kenya Kwanza administration.

Karua, while seemingly distancing herself from the agreement reached between the 10-member committee on key issues before NADCO, said any deal that does not immediately impact the cost of living, electoral justice and multi-party democracy is a fraud and must be rejected.

"Any purported agreement that does not immediately impact on cost of living, electoral justice and respect for multiparty democracy is a fraud on the people and must be rejected," Karua, who maintains that President William Ruto rigged last year's polls, said in a post on X (formally Twitter).

While unveiling the report on Saturday night, NADCO co-chairs Kalonzo Musyoka of Azimio and his Kenya Kwanza counterpart Kimani Ichung'wah expressed confidence in their recommendations which they said were aimed at restoring national unity after last year's divisive elections.

"We are proud to Unveil The National Dialogue Committee’s Report which has been electronically submitted to the Principals representing The Kenya Kwanza and Azimio La Umoja Leadership.

"It is our firm belief that The Report has addressed the issues that formed the basis of the talks and the recommendations therein will progressively heal our wounds, foster togetherness, promote national unity restore our national pride, and usher us to greater prosperity," Kalonzo stated.

In its report, the committee said it had reached a consensus on the issue of audit of the 2022 presidential election results. The committee recommended an evaluation of last year's election with a view to improving the country's electoral processes.

"Evaluation of elections are important in ensuring that voting systems operate accurately, that election officials comply with laws, regulations and internal policies, identifying weaknesses and set benchmarks for future performance. In addition, it helps build confidence in the election administration process and credibility of the results and the electoral management body," the committee said in its report.

NADCO recommended formation of a parliamentary panel to evaluate the 2022 electoral process.

“Within twenty-one days of the adoption of this report by Parliament, the leadership of the majority and minority coalitions shall appoint a panel to evaluate the 2022 electoral process,” the committee said, adding that the majority and minority parties or coalition shall each nominate three experts to lead the process.

NADCO recommended the reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission selection panel to be increased to nine members from the seven which was proposed by President William Ruto.

Similarly, the bipartisan talks team recommended that legal reforms that have been passed 18 months before the general elections become effective in the next election.

Further, the committee recommended the increase of timelines within which the Supreme Court will hear and determine a petition challenging presidential elections from 14 to 21 days.

Similarly, the committee recommended the establishment of State Offices such as the office of the leader of the opposition and the office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary.

NADCO stated that the prime minister will be nominated and appointed by the president upon approval by the National Assembly.

In matters of cost of living, NADCO indicated that the committee was unable to reach a consensus on the reduction of VAT of fuel from 16 per cent to 8 per cent, and scrapping of the housing levy.

"The committee was unable to reach a consensus on a number of other proposals on the matter of cost of living, including the reduction of VAT on fuel from 16% to 8%, and scrapping of the housing levy, the twin issues in the Finance Act 2023," the report said.

However, the team recommended four measures to address the cost of living.

The committee proposed that all arms of government reduce their travel budget by 50 per cent and that the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) review and reduce Daily Subsistence Allowances for State and Public Officers by 30 per cent.

The committee also recommended that the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum in liaison with the national Treasury reduce the road maintenance levy and the anti-adulteration levy by Ksh5 and Ksh3 per litre respectively.

Similarly, the committee recommended that the National Government finalize the transfer of all devolved functions and provide for the concomitant resources to the county governments.

Further, NADCO recommended that the parliament amends the Constitution to provide for the equitable share to the County Governments not to be less than 20 per cent of all revenue collected by the National Government from the current 15 per cent.

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