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Archbishop urges bipartisan committee to resolve political stalemate

Nyeri Diocese Catholic Archbishop, Anthony Muheria, has called on the government and the opposition to reconsider their hardline stances and give the bipartisan talks a chance.

Muheria has attributed the collapse of the negotiations between the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition and the government to the lack of goodwill by the two factions in addressing the real issues.

According to the cleric, despite pleas from religious leaders, the two parties had gone ahead and given precedence to their political interests at the expense of the plight of Kenyans which he says if not checked, will continue to threaten the talks which are expected to unlock the stalemate between the government and the opposition.

“We have always called for them to be honest and to have the Kenyan at the centre and not individuals who are the political players because those are not the ones we are trying to appease. We are trying to bring sanity to issues that affect Kenyans and so the discussions are not about who should participate but what we should be speaking about,” said the Archbishop.

The talks collapsed on Tuesday this week following a failure by the 14-member committee to agree on the composition of the parliamentary team participating in the talks.

The team also failed to agree on whether the talks would be purely parliamentary or include other figures from outside Parliament.

The seven members, from Kenya Kwanza are Eldas Member of Parliament Adan Keynan, Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, Nominated Senator George Murugara who is also a co-chair of the committee, nominated Senator Essy Okenyuri, Kibwezi West legislator Mwengi Mutuse, Taita Taveta Woman Representative Lydia Haika and Bomet Senator Hillary Sigei.

The Azimio side is represented by Rarieda MP Dr Otiende Amollo, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna, Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua, Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina, Pokot South MP David Pkosing, Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo and Malindi MP Amina Mnyanzi.

“We have hit a stalemate and suspended these talks until such time that there might be consensus or the position changes. So until the issues are resolved, the talks remain suspended so that we do not give people false hope that there are talks going on,” said the co-chair of the committee Dr Amollo in a press briefing.

But the Nyeri Archbishop has maintained that the only way for the committee to overcome these hurdles would entail the members putting their political interests aside. He noted that the grounds given by both sides could easily be resolved and urged the team to listen to each other.

“We are asking that there be focus on what is reasonable to discuss and that will benefit the people of Kenya and not what will benefit one or two leaders. It is not a give and take about leadership, it is about our country so we are urging them to find the honesty to think about Kenyans who deserve peace and harmony,” said Muheria.

By Wangari Mwangi

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