The Azimio One Kenya Coalition on 3rd October made its presentation to the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi.
The coalition team led by the chairman of the Azimio Economic Council Hon. Ndiritu Mureithi highlighted several key issues that require urgent attention. The party focused on crucial matters such as the rising cost of living, the need for an audit of the 2022 Presidential Election, and the reconstitution of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). The presentation also covered governance, fidelity to political parties and coalitions, the 2/3 gender rule, the coalition’s position on constitutional amendments, and concluded with recommendations.
The first issue addressed by Azimio was the cost of living. The party emphasized that the state has a duty to fulfill Article 43 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to the highest attainable standards of living. They raised concerns about heavy taxation and massive borrowing, which have impeded public expenditure and hindered the fulfillment of Article 43 rights. They also called for a reevaluation of budget proposals and the implementation of measures to stimulate production, reduce interest rates, and introduce tax reductions on energy, food, fuel, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and housing levies.
Another critical issue brought to the attention of the NADCO was the need for an audit of the 2022 Presidential Election. The Azimio Coalition emphasized that it is the right of the Kenyan people to know the truth about the election and called for a forensic and systems audit in accordance with the Constitution. They questioned the lack of coherence between results from the IEBC server and the BOMAS portal, suggesting that an audit is essential to ensure transparency and address any discrepancies.
The reconstitution and restructuring of the IEBC was also a significant concern for Azimio. They proposed changes to the Commission, including the separation of boundary delimitation from election management and the allocation of seats based on a 50:50 ratio between ruling and opposition parties. The party also advocated for the review of relevant statutes to align with the Constitution, introducing stringent penalties for misconduct and ensuring the inclusion of political parties in the verification of electoral materials.
The 2/3 gender rule and fidelity to political parties/coalitions were also discussed in Azimio’s presentation. They called for mirroring the county assembly formula in the National Assembly through a top-up system, ensuring compliance with the constitutional requirement for gender representation. The party stressed the importance of upholding party discipline and accountability while allowing individuals to join any party but requiring fresh mandates when crossing over. They also highlighted the need for clear timelines to resolve party disputes and for the involvement of political parties in the determination of leadership in parliament.
The Azimio Coalition’s position on constitutional changes, including the establishment and entrenchment of state offices and funds in the Constitution, was outlined. The party expressed reservations about the intentions of the current leadership and emphasized the importance of respecting and faithfully applying the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, and the rule of law. They stated that any proposed amendments should be subjected to public participation for legitimacy and public acceptance.
In conclusion, the Azimio Coalition’s presentation to the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) emphasized key concerns relating to the cost of living, the need for an audit of the 2022 Presidential Election, and the reconstitution of the IEBC. They also addressed issues of governance, fidelity to political parties and coalitions, the 2/3 gender rule, and their stance on constitutional amendments. The party’s recommendations included stimulating production, reducing interest rates, implementing tax reductions, ensuring inclusivity and diversity in appointments, and protecting and strengthening devolution. The ball is now in the court of the NADCO and the Kenyan public to consider and deliberate upon these crucial matters for the betterment of the nation.