Azimio announces return of town hall meetings, public rallies
The Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition on Tuesday, April 11, announced the return of town hall meetings and public rallies, a week after suspending anti-government demonstrations to engage in dialogue with the Kenya Kwanza government.
In a statement issued moments after the Kenya Kwanza team unveiled a seven-member parliamentary team to engage the opposition in dialogue, Azimio Executive Council chair Wycliffe Oparanya said the purpose of the town hall meetings and public barazas is to enable the party explain to the people the next course of action following the suspension of protests.
The coalition is set to hold its first town hall meeting in Nairobi on Thursday, April 13, 2023.
The meeting will be followed by a public rally dubbed People's Baraza at the Kamukunji Grounds on Sunday, April 16, 2023.
"As the negotiators take up their responsibilities, we will embark on a series of direct engagements with members of the public through town hall meetings and public Barazas," Oparanya said.
The former Kakamega governor also disclosed that the coalition had settled on Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo to lead the Azimio team that was unveiled last week in the parliamentary engagement.
Oparanya said the opposition expects parliamentary parties and membership to be respected during the talks amid claims from National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi that the Kenya Kwanza coalition had nominated Aden Keynan to the committee yet he is a member of Azimio by virtue of his affiliation to the Jubilee party.
"The letter and spirit of fidelity to multipartyism must be entrenched in the ongoing negotiations. We continue to reiterate that we expect parliamentary parties and membership be respected and not undermined during the talks," he added.
"Azimio remains committed to the spirit of the Easter deal that saw the two parties to commit dialogue and call on Kenya Kwanza to come to the table with clean hands, unclenched fists, and a commitment to an honest and transparent process that engages on all the issues bedevilling our country, namely extremely high cost of living, electoral injustices that we have swept under the carpet for decades, safeguarding multipartyism and safeguarding our civil service from politics."
President William Ruto on April 2 extended an olive branch to the opposition leader Raila Odinga to call off demonstrations pushing for electoral and economic reforms to pave way for dialogue.
The Head of State proposed a parliamentary engagement to address the opposition's issues touching on the reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Today, Ruto's Kenya Kwanza Alliance unveiled a seven-member team to engage in the talks with the Azimio coalition on their behalf.
The members are Keynan (Eldas), Bonnie Khalwale (Kakamega) and George Murugara (Tharaka).
Others are nominated Senator Essie Okenyeri Mwengi Mutuse (Kibwezi West), Lydia Haika (Taita Taveta) and Hillary Sigei (Bomet).
The team will face off against Azimio's parliamentarians who include Amollo, Millie Odhiambo (Suba North) and David Pkosing (Pokot South). Others are Senators Ledama ole Kina (Narok), Edwin Sifuna (Nairobi), Enoch Wambua (Kitui) and Amina Laura Mnyanzi (Malindi).