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Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka to hit the campaign trail after Karua paves way

Raila Odinga's presidential running mate Martha Karua addresses a rally at Kamutei in Kitui county on June 10, 2022. [Philip Muasya, Standard]

Fresh from a trip out of the country, Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga will today embark on a six-day campaign tour across six counties.

Raila will lead Azimio’s campaign in Makueni, a day after his running mate Martha  Karua paved the way with a series of rallies in Makueni and Kitui counties.

This will be Raila’s first campaign tour in lower Eastern after the return of regional kingpin Kalonzo Musyoka to the Azimio alliance.

Kalonzo had left after Raila picked Karua as his running mate. 

Karua spent yesterday crisscrossing lower Eastern and will today engage residents of Murang’a in a town hall session before going to Nyeri.

Kalonzo, Azimio’s nominee for chief minister, is expected to accompany Raila on the campaign trail that will include Machakos, in their plan to lock the bloc that has voted for Raila in the last two elections.

Karua will be in Uasin Gishu on Sunday where she is slated to hold a rally at Huruma Grounds after a church service in the morning.

Campaigns led by the Azimio youth wing, dubbed Vijana Fayaa, will keep Azimio’s flame burning in Nairobi throughout the weekend.

The Azimio leaders will move to Kisii on Monday and tour Kitui — where Karua was yesterday — on Tuesday, before heading to Isiolo and wrapping up the week in Marsabit.

In her Ukambani tour yesterday, Karua urged the Kamba community to support Raila.

The Narc-Kenya leader, who was accompanied by governors Charity Ngilu of Kitui and Makueni’s Kivutha Kibwana as well as Mukhisa Kituyi of the Labour Party of Kenya, said Raila’s government will embark on economic revolution immediately he takes office.

Addressing rallies at Kamutei, Zombe and Kwa Vonza in Kitui, Karua urged the Kamba community to remain firmly behind Raila whom it supported in the last two presidential contests when he was being deputised by Kalonzo.

“You have supported Raila twice. You cannot afford to be left out when he is about to become the fifth president of Kenya. Let us walk together and make him president,” Karua said at Zombe market in Kitui East.

Fight corruption

She said the coalition’s economic revolution model that will be rolled out immediately they assume office will be centred on eradicating poverty and famine and creating job opportunities for the youth.

She said the Azimio government will fight corruption and seal all the loopholes to ensure public funds are not pilfered by public officers.

Karua said that she will personally lead the fight against corruption to ensure that the county’s resources are well utilised for the benefit of all Kenyans.

While taking a dig at Kenya Kwanza Alliance, Karua said that it is only the Azimio - One Kenya coalition that has committed to fighting corruption, adding that she and Raila have a demonstrated track record of fighting for the rights of Kenyans.

“I know others will come here and lie to you about how they will invest billions for youth and women, but how will they do it when they do not talk about addressing corruption? If you are a participant in corruption, how can you fight it?” Karua posed.

She added that Raila’s government, in which she will be the deputy president should the coalition win the presidency, will also invest in quality healthcare for all, reiterating Raila’s special attention to single mothers, people living with disability and the unemployed.

“Our basket is full of goodies for every Kenyan. Make the right choice because you have the right candidate,” she said while appealing to Kenyans not to fall for handouts.  

Karua said that in Ukambani, the government will invest in extensive water security measures to ensure the region has sufficient water and food.

While addressing a gathering at AIC at Wote town in Makueni where she met the clergy, Karua promised to remain loyal to Raila should they win the presidency, saying stability in government is key in executing the government’s agenda.

She took a swipe at Deputy President William Ruto whom she said had shown open defiance and disrespect to his boss President Kenyatta.

Without saying much about about the recently launched Azimio manifesto, she said one of the provisions was to ensure social justice prevailed. 

“When you look at our manifesto, it is founded on social justice, to ensure we raise all Kenyans to better standards,” she said.

“We can’t leave Kenyans to die because of hunger, and that is social justice.”

Ngilu, Kibwana and Kituyi said that Raila is the best-suited person to take over from President Kenyatta because he understands what needs to be fixed.

On imported second hand clothes (mitumba), Kituyi clarified that what the ODM chief and Azimio movement are pushing for is the strengthening of the local garment industry that will also create thousands of jobs.