May 27, 2022
An image of ODM leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Azimio NDC on March 12, 2022.
  • Time is running out for the Azimio la Umoja presidential flag-bearer Raila Odinga to pick a running mate. It’s a delicate balancing act, especially now that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is not on the menu following Supreme Court’s verdict that sealed its fate.

    BBI which was declared unconstitutional, had room for an expanded executive and favourable to the winning team, should it have passed the Supreme test. .
     
    Endorsing the constitutional Amendment Bill, President Uhuru Kenyatta noted it would have helped achieve inclusivity in the country and address the ‘winner takes it all’ crisis.

    ODM leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Azimio NDC on March 12, 2022.
    PSCU

    Raila’s options

    Raila was among the expected beneficiaries of this model that failed following the seven bench judge ruling on Thursday, March 31.

    Its failure compounds the Former Prime Minister’s troubles in picking a deputy who will help him consolidate votes in different parts of the country.

    Some of the top leaders who have been fronted to deputies the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development include NARC Kenya party leader Martha Karua, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, former Gatanga Member of Parliament Peter Kenneth, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, Laikipia governor Nderitu Muriithi, and his Kitui counterpart Charity Ngilu.

    Martha Karua

    Karua, who recently announced her support for the Azimio la Umoja, is among the favourites for Odinga.  Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Boss Shollei noted that Raila-Martha presidential ticket would make a formidable opposition against Kenya Kwanza Presidential candidate William Ruto.

    “If Azimio [la Umoja] picks a woman running mate, then I’d be pleased, especially if that person is as strong as Martha Karua. I highly respect her,†Shollei stated on Citizen Television’s Jeff Koinange Live on Wednesday, March 23.

    Political analysts Herman Manyora also advised Raila to consider Karua as his running mate ahead of the August 9 General Election.

    “Raila should haste in nominating Karua as his running mate. This will force Ruto to pick Ann Waiguru. Let Kenyans choose between a liberation pair and the other one,” Manyora argued. 

    Raila Odinga (left) and Martha Karua at Serena Hotel, Nairobi on Wednesday, March 23, 2022..jpg
    Raila Odinga (left) and Martha Karua at Serena Hotel, Nairobi on Wednesday, March 23, 2022.
    Martha Karua

    Peter Munya

    Munya has also been fronted as a preferred candidate to deputies Raila. The Agriculture CS received a major boost after the Party of National Unity (PNU) endorsed the former Meru Governor, who also doubles up as the party leader. 

    Led by former Ministry of Sports Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Zack Kunuthia, the leaders asked Raila to settle on Munya stating that he was suitable for the position.

    “We have sent Munya in broad daylight. Those who are looking for the seat of the Deputy President should be told that the seat is already occupied,” stated the youthful politician eyeing the Kigumo Parliamentary seat.

    Peter Kenneth

    Kenneth or simply PK as he is commonly known, has also received endorsement with even polls indicating that he is the most preferred candidate, especially in Mt Kenya region. He has also been seen among the closest allies of the ODM leader. Other leaders from the Mt Kenya region include governor, who chairs Odinga’s campaign board secretariat and Lee Kinyanjui.

    The Kalonzo factor

    The dominant force among the seven is Kalonzo. The Wiper leader who was Raila’s running mate in both the 2013 and 2017 General Election, has also been fronted as a potential running mate.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta during the Jubilee National Delegates Convention, also hinted at Azimio la Umoja Kenya Kwanza fielding Kalonzo as a running mate.

    Analysts argue that the selection of a running mate will have an effect on the 2022 General Election. Many opine that there is a high chance of a woman leader to be endorsed as running mate.

    States remain high for the Mt Kenya region with President Kenyatta exiting the stage in August. Deputy President William too is said to be considering a running mater from from Central, with governor Anne Waiguru and Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua being among the names being fronted.

    Former Prime Minister engaging with Natasha Macharia during an engagement forum in the UK on March 17, 2022.
    Former Prime Minister engaging with Natasha Macharia during an engagement forum in the UK on March 17, 2022.
    File
  • Source: KENYAGIST.COM

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