Give us running mate job, central leaders tell Raila

There is intense lobbying for Peter Kenneth and Agriculture CS Peter Munya as possible running mate options for Raila Odinga (left). [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Raila Odinga’s Azimio La Umoja political outfit has bagged more leaders even as Murang’a leaders demanded a running mate position.

Some of the leaders in Murang’a who have now endorsed Raila’s Presidential candidacy include Cabinet Secretary James Macharia (Roads, Transport and Urban Housing), PS Irungu Wairagu (Water and Sanitation) and former Senator Kembi Gitura.

Wairagu is among the front runners for Murang’a governor seat while Kembi has declared that he will be working to reclaim the seat which he lost to Irungu Kang’ata.

Murang’a Deputy Governor Maina Kamau also decamped from Mwangi Wa Iria’s Usawa Kwa Wote party to Azimio even as he gears towards unseating Alice Wahome for Kandara Parliamentary seat.

“Raila has sacrificed more for this country and it is only fair that we vote him in as the next president,” Maina added.

In the meeting that brought over 1,000 grassroots leaders at Thika Greens in Kandara yesterday, attendants were cautioned that those who are yet to join Azimio La Umoja coalition will be plunged into political oblivion once the train lefts the station.

“Those who are yet to join the bandwagon must do so in haste before it’s too late for them. Our region will be safe with Raila as the fifth President of Kenya,” Gitura said.

Macharia urged the County electorate to evaluate the credentials of presidential candidates wisely before voting them in saying Raila’s CV has been approved and was he best placed successor of the president.

“You will be seeing us more often in Raila’s campaigns since he will ensure the continuity of President’s legacy projects,” Macharia added.

The CS said the region will work round the clock to transfer Uhuru’s 2017 political base to Raila.

The leaders who supported Raila’s presidential bid are Nduati Ngugi (Gatanga), Mary Waithira (Maragua), Peter Kimari (Mathioya), Muturi Kigano (Kangema), Wangari Mwaniki (Kigumo) and Women Representative Wanjiru Chege.

Out of seven elected leaders only Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu) and Alice Wahome (Kandara) supports Deputy President William Ruto’s Tanga Tanga team.

ODM leader Raila Odinga addressing supporters in Murang'a County. January 24, 2022. [Courtesy]

Forty-two MCAs out of 51 were present during the meeting and through their representative Peter Mburu they declared their support to Raila.

“We have decided to support Raila since we know he has supported devolution and through his BBI bill he mooted for Ward Development Bill,” Mburu said.

However, the leaders pleaded with Raila to consider a leader from Murang’a County as his running mate.

Mathioya MP Kimari said the county has been supporting current and former government but its efforts have never been reciprocated.

“We urge Raila to consider a leader from this county as a running mate, since he enjoys massive support from here,” he said.

There has been an intense lobbying for the running mate position with Peter Kenneth and Agriculture CS Peter Munya floated as possible names.

Kenneth called on voters to reject any leader who is not supporting the President or the Azimio team as they go against the grains. 

Jubilee Party Vice Chairperson David Murathe announced that the party will hold a National Delegates Conference where they will ratify the proposal to have a coalition with Azimio and agree to support Raila in the August polls.

Raila dismissed claims that he was a State’s project.

“We should give ordinary citizens an enabling environment to uplift their living standards and we will not do this by impoverishing the rich,” he noted.

He urged Muranga residents to come out in large numbers ahead of his rally at Ihura stadium on Saturday.