SECTIONS

Mudavadi unveils Kioni as running mate ending rising speculation

By ALLAN KISIA

After keeping Kenyans guessing, Amani Coalition presidential hopeful Musalia Mudavadi finally unveiled his running mate.

Mudavadi named former Ndaragua MP Jeremiah Kioni as his running mate, effectively ending days of speculation.

While making the announcement at his secretariat in Nairobi’s Kileleshwa area, Mudavadi said he took time to reflect and consult on his running mate.

“I took a long and painstaking search in the whole country for that person. I consulted widely with family and friends, within my party UDF and in the Amani Coalition and with many other Kenyans,” he stated.

Mudavadi said he was looking for a soul mate, a Kenyan who will not only complement the president but will also be principled enough to challenge him in his responsibilities in the service for Kenyans.

“The list was trimmed to the first 100 people of various persuasions, competence and commitment to the nation,” he added.

 Principle and issues

He explained that he did not want to apportion the running mate position on the basis of the politics of the day — ethnicity and search for predictable numbers.

“In Amani Coalition, we aim to unite the Kenyan people on the basis of politics of principle and issues that confront citizens. We have no desire to rule Kenyans but be at their service,” he stated.

He apologised to those whom he disappointed but were qualified and willing to serve. “I beg your indulgence, forgiveness but most important, your support for the decision,” he said. In his acceptance speech, Kioni noted that his nomination comes with heavy responsibilities.

He added he became a dedicated member of UDF because he believes in the principles for which it stands.

“It is time to turn the page. Let us transform our country to a nation of one people whose problems do not know tribal lines,” he stated.

He added Amani Coalition will reshape politics, economy, end poverty, tackle health crisis and free Kenyans from insecurity.

Those present during the occasion were Kanu chairman Gideon Moi and Secretary General Nick Salat, New Ford Kenya leader Eugene Wamalwa and former MPs Boni Khalwale, Yusuf Chanzu, Musikari Kombo and Nderitu Mureithi.

Kioni was born in 1964 in Nyeri and is the seventh born child of Peter and Loice Kioni in a family of ten. He is married to Margaret Mwonjori and is a father of two sons and a daughter. He holds a Bachelors of Arts (Land Economics), Bachelor of Law and a Masters of Arts (Project Administration) from the University of Nairobi. Kioni is an elder of the PCEA and has also served as a member of the church’s business committee.

Kioni chaired the Parliamentary Select Committee on Unlawful Gangs. The committee investigated what caused young people to join such gangs, why they existed, and how Parliament could help the Government remedy the situation.

In his speech, Mudavadi described Kioni as a Kenyan whose commitment to the ideals of UDF and Amani Coalition are unquestionable, one whose integrity, honesty, faith and courage is beyond reproach.

He said the former MP participated in the formulation of the Constitution and his knowledge and commitment to implement the law was in no doubt.

“The Amani Coalition choice is a family man and a church elder. My running mate is youthful but experienced in public service having worked as a civil servant, businessman and MP,” Mudavadi added.

Kioni said the Amani Coalition is not about positions but what Kenyans can do together as a nation and not as tribes.

He said Kenyans must reclaim the meaning of patriotism, the sense of common purpose and realise that very few obstacles can withstand the power of millions of Kenyans as one people calling for change.

He noted that he has traversed the country with Mudavadi during which he was moved by his humility, integrity and concern for the weak and disadvantaged.

“I have been struck by your non-tribal approach to national issues and your commitment to the economic and political development of the country in peace and tranquility,” he added.