On Monday, May 9, Maendeleo Chap Chap party leader and outgoing Machakos governor, Alfred Mutua, ditched Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition accusing its leaders of keeping the agreement secret.
Mutua argued that the agreement was foreign to a majority of parties that appended their signatures during the coalition’s establishment that was overseen by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner, Raila Odinga.
The Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT), however, blocked Mutua from withdrawing his party from the coalition arguing that he should exhaust internal disputes resolution mechanisms within Azimio before exiting.
According to Article 22 of the Deed of Agreement for Azimio on Withdrawal of Parties, an affiliate party can only withdraw after giving a three months notice.Deputy President William Ruto (left) accepts MCC leader Alfred Mutua into Kenya Kwanza on Monday, May 9, 2022.DPPS
“Any Party may withdraw from this Coalition Agreement upon giving 90 Days' Notice to the Coalition Council of its intention to withdraw from the Coalition Party,” reads the agreement in part.
The agreement also stops political parties from withdrawing from the coalition six months to the 2022 elections and three months after the election.
“No Party may withdraw from the Coalition Six Months before the August 2022 General Elections or within Three Months after the date of the said General Elections.”
However, this is not the main bone of contention.
The Devil in The Details
According to the agreement, which Kenyans.co.ke is in possession of, Article 23 on Transitional Provisions vests the decision-making powers to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party and Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
Despite the agreement establishing a Coalition Council and the National Coalition Executive Committee as well as the National Secretariat, it stipulates that both Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga must agree on the basics such as the constitution of the Council members.
The Article further states that until the Coalition Council holds its inaugural meeting, all the decisions of the coalition will be undertaken by the National Delegates Conferences (NDCs) of both Jubilee Party and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
“Until the convening of the first meeting of the Coalition Council, its functions shall be deemed to have been done by the resolutions of the constituent National Delegates Conferences provided that the inaugural members of the Coalition Council shall, at the execution of this deed of agreement, be agreed upon by the Party Leaders of Jubilee Party and the Orange Democratic Movement,” reads Article 23 of the agreement establishing the coalition.
Sharing of Positions
One of the arguments by Alfred Mutua on ditching Azimio was that the coalition did not disclose to affiliate parties on what they stand to gain by being members of the political faction.
He went on to state that Kenya Kwanza had assured him of Cabinet positions, Ambassadorial posts, as well as a position at the decision-making body.
Mutua remarked that he did not join Kenya Kwanza as a nobody but as a principal of equal ranking and influence like Deputy President William Ruto of United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Musalia Mudavadi of Amani National Congress (ANC) and Moses Wetangula of Ford Kenya.President Uhuru Kenyatta signs into law five parliamentary bills on Monday, April 4, at State House, Nairobi.PSCU
According to Article 11 of the Azimio agreement on the Organization of the Government, member parties agree to form a coalition government governed by four principles.
“Organization of government in the Coalition Government will be governed by national aspiration for an inclusive, democratic and participatory governance as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya,” reads Clause 2(a) of Article 11.
Clause 2(b) adds that the organisation of the Coalition Government will follow the principle of “Equality and equity, including affirmative action among the Coalition partners”.
It will also factor in “utmost good faith among the Coalition partners” and “Adherence to the terms of the Coalition agreement”.
The agreement, however, does not expressly explain how exactly affiliate parties will share positions such as cabinet posts, principal secretaries and ambassadorial jobs. It also does not detail whether Azimio will retain the Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs) posts created by Mr Kenyatta in 2017.
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