Inside Politics

UDA scolds Raila after his new demands on bipartisan talks

Tuesday, April 4th, 2023 21:35 | By
United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Secretary General Cleophas Malala. PHOTO/Courtesy

The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party has accused opposition leader Raila Odinga of an attempt to frustrate proposed dialogue with the Kenya Kwanza administration after he made new demands on Tuesday, April 4.

The Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader claimed on Tuesday evening that President William Ruto's proposal for a parliamentary approach to address issues raised by the opposition in their mass protests recently "may not serve its intended purpose".

In a statement, the former prime minister stated that the Azimio leadership wants to have a conversation at the national level through a process akin to the 2008 National Accord, which was brokered by Koffi Annan following the disputed 2007 presidential election results.

But in a quick rejoinder, UDA Secretary General Cleophas Malala said Raila's remarks had confirmed the ruling party's worst fears that recent the recent demonstrations pushing for electoral and economic reforms were not genuine "but a blatant thirst and hunger for power through the back door".

"In making these unreasonable demands, Raila Odinga has demonstrated his intention to hold the Bipartisan Parliamentary Process as suggested by The President at ransom," Malala said.

Malala said Raila should not "mistake President Ruto's olive branch in this holy month as a sign of cowardice", adding that the ruling party "will not accept any process that is outside the purview of the constitution or offends the law as established".

"We call upon Hon. Raila Odinga to recognize that there is a legitimate government in Kenya delivering the promises made to the electorate and implementing its pre-election agenda," Malala stated.

"Formation of anybody, not legally recognized by the constitution or statute law amounts to living in utopia and broad daylight hallucination," he added.

Raila had earlier faulted Ruto for ignoring some of Azimio's demands in his statement when he proposed the formation of a bipartisan parliamentary committee to look into the opposition's concerns on the reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Raila reiterated Azimio's calls for an audit of the IEBC servers to establish who won the last presidential election, which he claims he won.

He also asked the Head of State to take immediate steps to bring down the cost of maize flour (unga) and fuel.

"Mr Ruto made his statement but that was not the basis of the understanding between the parties negotiating between us. That statement (Ruto's) fell far short of what had been agreed and they know it. Our statement reiterates firmly what will be our basis of engagement with Kenya Kwanza," Raila said after a meeting with Azimio MPs.

"We resolved that the regime must take immediate steps to bring back the cost of unga to Ksh.100 as at the time of the election... We further resolved that Kenya Kwanza must take immediate steps to lower the cost of fuel and put a freeze on the recent increase in the cost of electricity. These are not matters for a committee."

The Azimio leader further said the government should foot hospital bills for the people injured during the opposition's demos.

"Further, we have resolved that the state must immediately take up the cost or waive all medical bills of the victims of police brutality including journalists, and the last expense costs of those who lost their lives," he said.

He warned that Azimio would resume protests that were suspended on Sunday if the proposed talks with the Kenya Kwanza administration were not successful.

"Finally, we assure our people and Kenyans that our eyes are firmly on the ball, and reiterate that we shall go back to the people as the earliest sign of lack of seriousness by the other side," he added.

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