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Raila declares his stand on the National Dialogue Committee report

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga has shared his perspective on the National Dialogue Committee's report.

Azimio La Umoja One-Kenya principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Raila Odinga during a campaign rally in Turkana on April 4, 2022.

In a press briefing on Thursday, November 29, Raila Odinga said that he had taken note of the imperfections of the National Dialogue Committee's report, but acknowledged it as a crucial starting point.

"The document the team has come up with is, ultimately, imperfect and unfinished. But it is a beginning," stated Odinga.

He highlighted that the government and the opposition agreed to disagree on the proposals issued in addressing the cost of living.

He added that despite differing opinions, the document's existence represents a significant step forward.

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He revealed that his side proposed what they believed were reasonable solutions to address the escalating cost of living, a concern shared by many Kenyans.

However, Odinga expressed disappointment as the government side dismissed their proposals, categorizing the matter as their exclusive business.

The government further argued that they were entrusted by Kenyans to execute their Kenya Kwanza economic agenda.

"We have agreed to disagree on the most important matter to us. We made what we believed were reasonable proposals on how to address the rising cost of living. But the government side flatly refused," Odinga explained.

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He emphasized the need for continued engagement with Kenyans in the upcoming weeks, recognizing the profound impact of the soaring cost of living on citizens.

Overall, the former prime minister endorsed the contents of the report, joining President William Ruto who has committed to implementing the recommendations.

The committee led by Kalonzo Musyoka of the Azimio Coalition and Kimani Ichung'wah of the Kenya Kwanza Coalition agreed on a number of issues contained in the report.

It however failed to agree on key issues touching on the reduction of cost of living

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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.

The contentious issues have been referred to President William Ruto and Raila Odinga for further action.

While releasing the report, National Assembly's Majority Leader also noted that the committee failed to agree on the scrapping of the housing levy.

"However, the committee was unable to reach a consensus on a number of proposals on the matter of cost of living, including the reductions of VAT on fuel from 16% to 8% and scrapping the housing levy, the twin issues in the Finance Act 2023," reads a section of the report.

"We are proud to unveil the National Dialogue Committee’s Report, which has been electronically submitted to the principals representing the Kenya Kwanza and Azimio La Umoja Leadership," Ichung'wah added.

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Electoral Justice and Related Matters

Audit of the 2022 Electoral Process: NADCO has recommended the evaluation of the 2022 electoral process.

Restructuring and Reconstitution of IEBC: NADCO has recommended the establishment of an expanded selection panel from the current 7-member to a 9-member selection panel.

Time for resolution of Presidential Election Petitions: NADCO recommends the increase of timelines within which the Supreme Court shall hear and determine a petition challenging the validity of presidential election from 14 to 21 days.

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Electoral Legal Reforms: NADCO has recommended that legal reforms passed less than 18 months to the general elections become effective in the next electoral cycle.

Cost of Living

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.

Entrenching of funds into the constitution

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The NADCO recommends the entrenchment of NG-CDF, the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF), and the Senate Oversight Fund.

The NADCO further recommended the Ward Development Fund be established by statute.

Establishment and entrenchment of state offices

The committee recommends the establishment of the Office of the Leader of the official opposition, who is the leader of the largest party/ coalition of political parties that garnered the second-greatest number of votes in the immediately preceding presidential elections with two deputies.

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The NADCO further recommends the establishment of the Office of Prime Minister to be nominated and upon approval by the National Assembly, appointed by the President.

Fidelity to the law on multiparty democracy

The NADCO recommends the establishment of the Independent Political Parties Regulatory Commission as an independent body that shall be responsible for the registration of political parties and their office holders and the management of political parties’ funds.

The role is currently vested in the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties.

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