|Narc Kenya presidential candidate Martha Karua (R) and her running mate Augustine Lotodo. (Photo:Evans Habil/Standard)|
By Ally Jamah
Nairobi, Kenya: Narc-Kenya Presidential candidate Martha Karua settled for her Deputy Party leader and former MP Augustine Chemonges Loile Lotodo for her running mate as political campaigns hot up.
The 42-year-old, who served in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), and studied Economics in India, is the son of former Cabinet Minister Francis Lotodo. He ran unsuccessfully for the Kapenguria constituency in 2002.
Augustine Lotodo served in EALA based in Arusha, Tanzania between 2007-2012. He was the Director of the Lake Victoria North Water Services Board between 2004-2006 based in Kakamega.
"I have picked someone who is passionate about the people of Kenya and who is committed to the ideals of trust, dedication. He is what Kenyans need in a Vice President, a man who will work for Kenyans and not himself, who understands and loves his country,” announced Karua in Nairobi after a meeting of Narc-Kenya’s National Executive Council, which endorsed her choice.
She added: “He is a person who understands and shares the concerns of Kenyans across the country and well prepared to meet those concerns. The country needs leaders who put their country above themselves, who have a vision for a Kenya where tribalism and corruption are things of the past.”
Karua accused other coalitions seeking to lead the country of choosing running mates on the basis of tribal arithmetic saying her choice of Lotodo, who hails from a minority and underprivileged community is evidence of her focus on individual merit and commitment to real leadership.
"Lotodo has first hand experience of the challenges that marginal communities who have been ignored for too long by government. Our party is inclusive of everyone,” she said.
In his acceptance speech, Lotodo said that together with Karua, they are determined to confront and solve the many challenges facing the country and to empower Kenyans economically, socially and politically.
“As someone from a small and marginalised community, I know and will work to better security, healthcare, infrastructure, education, and respect for the constitution to benefit all Kenyans,” he said.
He described Karua as a President that Kenyans can trust to fight corruption and impunity and implement the constitution in letter and spirit without flinching inspite of pressure that may come from entrenched interests.
Lotodo was pursuing a Phd in economics in India but was forced to cut short his studies in 2000 when his father died to return and care for the family. He is married to Veronica Chepkorir, a secondary school teacher and has four children.