KK, Azimio spell out proposals to dialogue team
The ruling Kenya Kwanza alliance has proposed the establishment of ward development fund to empower Members of County Assembly to deliver on their promises.
The fund, Kenya Kwanza told National Dialogue Committee in Bomas of Kenya, will enable MCAs to fulfill promises and pledges they made during their campaigns.
“These fund will achieve equalization across the country and can be a solution to the marginalized communities in the country now agitating for cessation,” said United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Secretary General Cleophas Malalah.
The former Kakamega Senator said that County Assembly is the incubation stage for future leaders aiming to climb the political ladder adding that besides the ward development fund, there should be a Ward equalisation fund to be implemented at the county level.
Kenya Kwanza also proposed the establishment of County oversight fund for senators to enable the members of the House to discharge their mandate.
The ruling coalition is in support of the entrenchment of the office of the official opposition in the Constitution with the Leader of Opposition sitting in the National Assembly.
“Parliament should enact a legislation for the establishment of the office of leader of opposition to promote inclusivity,” Malalah said.
He added: “After every election there has been violence due to perceived winner takes it all. This provision will alleviate perennial problems, strengthen oversight and deepening democracy.”
He said Kenya Kwanza was proposing a legislation to regulate the right to demonstrations and picketing to bar political leaders who lead violent demonstrations from vying for any elective position.
The proposed regulations should mandate organizers of protests to gazette the venue for picketing while upholding sanity and order among politicians since they will be held liable in case of violent demonstrations leading to destruction of property and loss of live.
Additionally, Kenya Kwanza called for the entrenchment the office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary currently held by Musalia Mudavadi in the constitution to create a legal liaison and supervision mechanism which is major a pivotal role of the office in the Cabinet.
Kenya Kwanza termed as necessary the proposals being made to audit the election process of the 2022 General Election to make sure that the electoral process for future polls is improved.
This, Kenya Kwanza said, will ensure that election results announced are transparent hence instilling public confidence in the process.
The coalition, however, rejected claims that Kenya Kwanza was killing multiparty democracy by poaching opposition politicians, Malalah maintained that political parties are strengthened by recruiting new members.
Cost of living
Kenya Kwanza also recommended that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) selection panel should proceed to recruit commissioners to enable the commission to undertake seven pending by-elections.
“Boundary delimitation set for March next year be done by the IEBC. Parliament and Executive should fast-track the process by providing budgetary allocation to the commission to ensure that after it is constituted it begins its work immediately to avoid constitutional crisis,” Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba said.
Kenya Kwanza maintained that it has addressed the cost of living despite the outstanding challenges due to the international happenings leading to global inflation, effects of Covid-19 pandemic and prolonged drought, budget deficits and huge public debts loans.
“The intervention taken by the government to increase on input subsidies in agriculture including lowering of fertilizer prices should lead to lowering cost of living,” Milemba said.
On housing, the ruling coalition aims to increase the number of houses to reduce mortgages from private home providers currently at 10,000 units to about one million units in the next financial year.
Kenya Kwanza said that it is determined to deliver Universal Health Care noting that Parliament has passed various bills including Digital Healthcare Bill and emergency fund provided for in the Social Health Bill.
The government, Milemba said, will launch a comprehensive healthcare model on Mashujaa Day.
The party said it is also championing the inclusion of women participation in every sphere of national endeavors adding that it has reviewed its administration structure to ensure that it upholds the two third gender rule.
While supporting all proposals made before the NADCO about the need to uphold the two third gender rule, the coalition singled out the National Assembly saying it is falling short of the two third gender rule by 24 female members currently.
On its part, the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance accused the government of failing to enact effective measures to address the rising cost of the living
Azimio noted that corruption and wastage of public resource had contributed to the inflation currently being experienced in the country.
The opposition claimed that the fluctuation being witnessed in the Nairobi Securities Exchange is because foreigners had fled the country due to the unfavourable tax measures being implemented by the government.
The Raila Odinga-led coalition said shilling was depreciating because the government had mismanaged the exchange rate.
“The Kenya shilling has collapsed from Sh120 to Sh250 a dollar in the last 12 months. The 25 per cent depreciation of the shilling is transmitted directly into the cost of living. Everything you are buying is 25 per cent more expensive this October than the same price last year,” Azimio’s Economic Council chairman Ndiritu Muriithi said.
He added: “And this is not a global challenge because Kenyan currency is also losing against the currencies of other East Africa countries.”
Muriithi said that the tools being used by the government to bring the cost of living down were frustrating economic activities and eroding confidence.
He said the government should slow down on expenditure.
“We are in debt distress. Debt default is looming and the country is on a wrong trajectory. You make spending plans factoring how to raise the resources needed either through taxation or borrowing,” he said.
According to Muriithi, taxation and borrowing has a direct bearing on the economy of a country yet government policies and budget documents are calling for increased taxation and continued borrowing to fund budget deficit of about Sh760 billion.
Azimio called for not just appointment of new commissioners but conducting an overhaul on IEBC structural composition.
“The IEBC statutes must align with the constitution and political parties input must be considered indiscriminately,” Muriithi said.
The alliance said that there should be stringent penalties of IEBC officials who commit electoral crimes and shortchanging the will of the people.
The coalition said that political parties should be involved in the verification of results in the monitoring systems of IEBC at the polling station level.
“There should be no changing of electoral law six months into an election,” Azimio said in their submission.
Additionally, Azimio faulted the government for meddling in internal affairs of political parties adding that the move is killing multiparty democracy aided by the Registrar of Political Parties.
“Registrar of Political Parties is holding brief for the government. RPP has vacated her mandate as decreed by the Political Parties Act. The office should be independent and insulated from interferences as seen with the current government regime,” the opposition recommended.