Makau Mutua asks Kioni to resign from bipartisan talks team
Lawyer Makau Mutua now wants Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni to resign as head of the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya Coalition Party technical team at the Bomas talks.
In a post on X, formally Twitter, on Saturday, September 23, Mutua took issue with Kioni's recent claims that the ongoing national dialogue was a waste of time, saying the former Ndaragwa MP should step aside since he doesn't believe in the talks.
"My good friend @HonKioni should with immediate effect resign as head of the Azimio technical team at the Bomas talks. He’s repeatedly said the talks are a 'waste of time,'" Mutua, who served as Azimio leader Raila Odinga's campaign secretariat spokesperson in last year's presidential election, wrote.
He added: "He must resign unless he’s a hypocrite. How can one lead a team in talks he doesn’t believe in?"
My good friend @HonKioni should with IMMEDIATE effect RESIGN as head of the Azimio technical team at the Bomas talks. He’s repeatedly said the talks are a “waste of time.” He must resign unless he’s a hypocrite. How can one lead a team in talks he doesn’t believe in?— Prof Makau Mutua (@makaumutua) September 23, 2023
Kioni made the comments during a press conference hosted by a section of Mt Kenya leaders last Tuesday.
Flanked by Azimio co-principal Martha Karua, Kioni decried a lack of commitment by the Kenya Kwanza administration in the talks.
"We are going nowhere with these talks, but we are in support of Baba (Raila) and the decision he has taken," Kioni said during the briefing by the group dubbed Kamwene Leadership Forum.
Kioni was appointed to lead the legal and technical team for the opposition coalition party in the talks with the Kenya Kwanza administration in August.
The former MP's team was tasked with offering Azimio's five-member delegation led by Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka support in the bipartisan talks with President William Ruto's side.
"We have tasked our delegation and technical teams, under the capable leadership of Kalonzo and Kioni, to approach these talks with courage and open minds. It requires both courage and open-mindedness to find common ground in times of conflict," Azimio said in a statement on August 8.
"We have conveyed to our delegation, and wish to communicate to all Kenyans, that engaging in sincere dialogue is not an act of surrender or weakness. Rather, it embodies strength and common sense."
Other members of the Azimio delegation include National Assembly Leader of Minority Opiyo Wandayi, DAP-K party leader Eugene Wamalwa, Nyamira Senator Okong'o Omogeni and Malindi MP Amina Mnyanzi.
The Kenya Kwanza side is led by National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah. Other members of the committee are Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot, Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire, East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP Hassan Omar and Bungoma Woman Representative Catherine Wambilianga.
The 10-member National Dialogue Committee was formed with a view of ending the stand-off between the government and the opposition that saw the latter call for street demonstrations to protest against rising cost of living and alleged electoral fraud.
Among the primary agenda of the committee are two-thirds gender rule, the cost of living, reconstitution of the country's electoral commission, fidelity to political parties and coalitions, entrenchment of political party funds into the constitution, and establishment of the official leader of the opposition office and the office of prime cabinet secretary.