Raila’s Poisoned Chalice In Clause Ruto’s Team Inserted In Agreement.
A clause in the framework agreement signed between President William Ruto and Opposition leader Raila Odinga could prove to be a poisoned chalice for the former Prime Minister in the bi-partisan talks.
Opposition politicians are reading mischief in the clause that stipulates that the National Dialogue Committee will submit “a list of agreed and unagreed issues” to Parliament for consideration.
The provision seems to suggest that the two houses of Parliament will have the final say on issues where the team may fail to reach consensus, opening up the dialogue to a battle of numbers between the two rival leaders in the National Assembly and the Senate.
President Ruto has the upper hand in both houses, leaving Mr Odinga exposed as a potential loser at the negotiating table.
The final report and proposals of the committee will include a list of agreed and unagreed issues. The final report and proposals of the committee shall be submitted to the respective coalition leaders. In addition, the final report and proposals of the committee shall be submitted to the [leaders of the majority and minority parties] of each house of Parliament,” reads the framework agreement signed on Wednesday.
It adds: “Upon submission of the final report and proposals of the committee, the leader of the majority party and the leader of the minority party of each house of Parliament shall table them and ensure that any proposed reform is introduced in Parliament.”
Orange Democratic Movement chairman John Mbadi and Kitui Central MP Makali Mulu, on the side of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party, described the provision as malicious and deliberate. They said the talks would only have a meaningful outcome if the committee reached consensus on all agenda items before submitting them to Parliament.
“This provision is very dangerous. I don’t know why our team agreed to include it. It will create space for people to develop a hardline stance on certain issues,” said Mr Mbadi.