The National Dialogue Committee presents its report after the D-Day impasse

by MMC
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The National Dialogue Committee agreed on the key agenda for the talks, but referred controversial issues for further consultations after a one-day meeting.

Among the recommendations agreed by the team led by Kimani Ichung’wah of Kenya Kwanza and Kalonzo Musyoka of Azimio la Umoja are the creation of the position of Leader of the Official Opposition with two deputies and the enshrinement in law of the position of Secretary of the First Cabinet.

Other proposals from the team include evaluating the 2022 election process, expanding the IEBC selection panel, extending the deadline for submitting presidential petitions from 14 to 21 days, and reducing the budget government travel.

At a press briefing late in the evening, the team said it had sent the report to President William Ruto and Azmio leader Raila Odinga.

However, they said there was no agreement on scrapping the housing tax and reducing the value-added tax on fuel from 16 percent to 8 percent.

Negotiators chosen by President Ruto and Mr Odinga had planned to release the document on Saturday 25 November at noon, but pushed it back to 5pm before further delays extended into the night.

Sources said Sunday Nation that the use of certain words in the final document and questions related to the cost of living triggered a new impasse and a flurry of consultations throughout the day. However, a consensus emerged on the proposal to reduce road maintenance and anti-tampering taxes.

Earlier, the Kenya Kwanza team led by the National Assembly Majority Leader was reported to have raised concerns over the formulation of some of the team’s recommendations, which appeared to compel the government to act on them.

Subsequently, the 10-member team adjourned to allow the technical committee to go through the text of the document to make changes.

Mr Musyoka and Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, in an earlier press briefing, initially gave the technical team until 5pm to conclude the changes to the text.

“We are determined to conclude our work today,” Mr. Musyoka said. “In addition to the report, the team is also expected to develop a draft law to accompany the report to Parliament.”

Mr Cheruiyot earlier said the report would reflect both contested and agreed agenda items.

“Our technical team needed more time to go through the texts. We want to tell the nation that there is nothing to worry about. We will have captured everything in the final document,” said the Senate majority leader.

At 7 p.m., the National Dialogue Committee and the technical team were still locked in a closed meeting. Meanwhile, the secretariat was busy preparing the ground for the planned launch.

The cost of living has always remained controversial. The opposition had proposed that the controversial housing tax be scrapped or made voluntary among Kenyan workers.

Other opposition demands included a proposal to reduce taxes on petroleum products. This now remains a controversial issue.

The new tax measures have made life more expensive while hitting businesses hard with high levies. The net income of employed Kenyans has also declined significantly thanks to additional statutory deductions.

A clause in the framework agreement signed by the opposing camps provides that the National Dialogue Committee will submit to Parliament “a list of agreed issues and those not agreed upon” for review.

The provision appears to suggest that both houses of Parliament will have the final say on points where the team may fail to reach consensus, thereby opening the dialogue to a competition of numbers between the two rival leaders in the National Assembly and the Senate.

“The committee’s final report and proposals contain a list of agreed issues and those not agreed upon. The final report and proposals of the committee will be presented to the respective leaders of the coalition. Furthermore, the final report and proposals of the commission will be submitted to the leader of the majority party and the leader of the minority party of each house of Parliament,” said the agreement signed on Wednesday.

It adds: “Upon presentation of the final report and proposals from the committee, the leader of the majority party and the leader of the minority party of each house of Parliament will table them and ensure that any proposed reforms are introduced into Parliament. »

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