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Martha Karua speaks as focus shifts to Ruto & Raila after NADCO report release

Karua is the first Azimio principal to break her silence after the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) released its report

Azimio la Umoja principal Martha Karua

Azimio la Umoja principal Martha Karua has made it clear that she will reject the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) if the contentious issues of the high cost of living, electoral justice and respect for multiparty democracy are not addressed satisfactorily.

In an apparent swipe at the committee’s report that was released by Kalonzo Musyoka and Kimani Ichung’wah on Saturday, Karua poked holes on the recommendations.

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday as the NADCO recommendations made headlines, Karua wrote:

"Any purported agreement that does not immediately impact on cost of living , electoral justice and respect for multiparty democracy is a fraud on the people and must be rejected," Karua said.

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Notably, Karua’s remarks come after the committee was unable to agree on key issues touching on the reduction of cost of living.

Eyes on Raila and Ruto over cost of living

Among them was a reduction of VAT on fuel from 16% to 8% proposed by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party as a way of reducing the cost of living.

NADCO was "unable to reach a consensus on a number of other proposals on the matter of cost of living, including the reduction of VAT on fuel from 16% to 8%, and scrapping of the housing levy, the twin issues in the Finance Act 2023.

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On cost of living, NADCO has recommended that all arms of government reduce travel by 50% with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission also reviewing per diem given to state officers during official travel with a view of reducing the same by 30%.

NADCO has also recommended a reduction in road maintenance levy and the anti-adulteration levy charged on fuel by Sh5 and Sh3 respectively, with the hope of having a resultant decrease in the price of fuel.

The issues on which the committee was unable to reach consensus have been referred to President William Ruto and Azimio leader Raila Odinga for further action.

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Karua has been clear, including before the release of the report that NARC Kenya will head back to the streets in protest should NADCO fail to produce tangible results that address key issues behind its formation.

She called on Kenyans to exercise their civil rights despite the risks such as killings that were witnessed during the last wave of demonstrations.

“Even if we are transported to heaven through killings during demonstrations, NARC Kenya and the people of Kenya are saying that should the talks fail us because they look like they are failing, we shall not forgo our rights, and we shall go back to the streets if necessary,” Karua stated.

With the report now in public domain, all eyes are on Azimio leader Raila Odinga and President William Ruto with Kenyans eagerly waiting for any relief.

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