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Azimo women group wants Raila to pick Karua deputy

Azimo women group wants Raila to pick Karua deputy

By Justus Karanja

Azimio Women Group, the women politicians’ group rooting for Azimio La Umoja leader Raila Odinga’s presidential bid, wants Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua named Raila’s running mate.

The group which was speaking at a meeting drawing 26 parties allied to the Azimio coalition described Karua as a seasoned leader whose impact as the second-in-power would benefit the entire country.

“One of the reasons that we were here is as simple as this: Martha Karua as deputy president. It is not rocket science, we do not see why you cannot see the value of Martha, she is a national figure who has been a minister and her record speaks for itself,” Public Service and Gender Programmes Chief Administrative Secretary Rachael Shebesh said.

“She is a committed woman known for her integrity and astuteness. We are now in the negotiation space for her, irrespective of which political party we come from.”

Also in attendance was Orange Democratic Movement’s women league leader Beth Syengo, Nairobi Governor Anne Kananu, and Karua.

“The rest of the names that are lobbying around Azimio, we wish them well, but we think our strategy might be the winning one,” added Shebesh.

Karua moved to the Raila-led camp last month in a move that was construed as the coalition’s move to win voters from the sought-after Mt. Kenya region should she be selected as Raila’s running mate.

“I am here to confirm that from now onwards Narc Kenya and I are supporting the Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga and this is without any equivocation. I have said time and again, and NARC-Kenya believes in this, that as we move forward we must look for leaders who have a demonstrated track record of being selfless and putting the interest of the nation above theirs,” said Karua after her meeting with the ODM leader on March 23.

The Kirinyaga governor aspirant added that Raila’s 10-point agenda, which she says will change the lives of Kenyans for the better, also drew her into the Azimio coalition.

Meanwhile, Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka has been pushing to be named Raial’s mate, the latest being comments he made on Sunday that he is also from the Mount Kenya region, having schooled in Meru, and speaking fluent Kimeru. 

"Some people argue that the running mate must be a Kikuyu. I'm actually from the mountain. I went to school in Meru. I speak a little bit of Meru so in truth I'm part of the mountain," said Kalonzo.

Elsewhere, renowned political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi has stated Raila will pick Karua as his running mate ahead of the August 2022 election.

Amid the push and pull within the coalition over who is best placed to deputise the former Prime Minister, Ngunyi predicted that the ODM leader will settle on Karua.

Ngunyi who has not hidden his support for Raila in the August poll, and who many believe is privy to the goings-on in the coalition that has President Uhuru Kenyatta as its Council chairperson, appeared to indicate that the matter is settled and the former Gichugu lawmaker has earned the right to be the former PM’s principal assistant.

“The VERDICT is OUT: It is Martha Karua as Raila’s Running MATE. I said it in JUNE 2021. And what I saw then, has NOT changed. She is the ONE. End of DISCUSSION.” Ngunyi said in a Tweet Monday night.

He also appeared to thank Kitui Governor and NARC party leader Charity Ngilu for her role in ensuring Karua, who sought the country’s presidency in 2013, got the much-coveted position that a number of leading political figures in the country have been angling for.

On Monday, Ngilu led a section of women leaders supporting Raila for the Presidency in calling on the Orange party leader to nominate Karua for the running mate position. According to Ngilu, popular as Mama Rainbow, Karua will ensure that Raila will win the majority of the Women’s vote in August.

“Women form half of the registered voters in Kenya today. Deservedly we the women unanimously propose and endorse Martha Karua as Baba’s running mate.” She said

That said, former Vice President Kalonzo  Musyoka is also hopeful he will be crowned the honors to pair Raila for a third time in his quest to be the country’s President. In fact, his supporters are threatening to withdraw their support from Azimio la Umoja should they fail in this mission.

Also in the running for the running mate post in Azimio is Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua of Maendeleo Chap Chap party, another affiliate of the Azimio coalition. 

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