Inside Politics

Azimio or Kenya Kwanza? Wetang’ula ‘delays’ verdict on majority coalition as stalemate persists

Tuesday, October 4th, 2022 18:02 | By
Azimio or Kenya Kwanza? Wetang'ula 'delays' verdict on majority coalition as stalemate persists
National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula. PHOTO/Courtesy

The question on which coalition between Kenya Kwanza Alliance and Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya has the majority in the National Assembly dominated Tuesday's session as MPs from the two camps claimed to possess numerical strength.

Speaker Moses Wetang'ula, who was expected to settle the matter during the House's first sitting, said he will use today's session to get MPs' views on the conundrum before retreating to make a decision.

"Faced with these conflicting correspondences, you will agree with me that it is impossible for me and the Clerk to discharge those requirements of the standing orders at this moment

"With respect to the first question Honourable Members, I will reserve the rest of today’s Sitting to allow the House to address me on this matter so that I can retreat to issue my guidance," the Speaker said.

House majority debate

In a debate that followed, MPs from the two sides locked horns with each maintaining their hardline position on the matter.

The contest follows a move by some members elected on parties affiliated with Raila Odinga-led Azimio to defect to Kenya Kwanza following the election of William Ruto as the country's fifth President.

Azimio MPs, who took to the floor, based their numerical strength on the pre-election coalition agreement.

Led by Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, the Azimio legislators argued that the parties including Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG), Pamoja African Alliance and United Democratic Movement (UDM) can only disengage from the coalition after three months after the August 9 general election.

On the other hand, Kenya Kwanza MPs led by Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa and his Garissa Township MP Aden Duale poked holes into the claims, saying the parties decamped to Kenya Kwanza willingly.

While shifting the numerical strength to individual parties, Duale, a member of the ruling United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party said, Azimio as a coalition party has no MP in the House.

Notably, UDA party has 144 elected MPs, Orange Democratic Movement has 88 lawmakers, Jubilee has 27 and Wiper has 26 lawmakers.

Reacting to the stalemate, MDG party leader and Ugenya MP David Ochieng said the political outfit resolved to ditch Azimio after hostile treatment from Azimio partners.

Ochieng said members of his party who were seeking elective seats in Nyanza were labelled as 'madoa doa' by senior leaders of the outfit.

MDG, Ochieng' said, has never received a copy of the coalition agreement it signed despite numerous requests to the Registrar of Political Parties.

"What the Honourable Junet has tabled here today no one can verify its authenticity. No one knows whether the document he has tabled is the one we signed. This letter I am holding is from the Registrar of Political Parties saying they can not give us a copy of the agreement we go to Azimio Headquarters. You go there you are told to come tomorrow. Up to now, our party has never received a copy of the agreement," Ochieng' said.

At recent Parliamentary Group retreats in Naivasha and Stoni Athi, Machakos County for Kenya Kwanza and Azimo respectively, the two coalition parties insisted that they command a majority in the National Assembly.

While Kenya Kwanza nominated Ichung’wa as the majority leader, Azimio picked his Ugunja counterpart Opiyo Wandayi for the same.

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