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Gideon meets Kanu aspirants, says party supports Raila-Karua team

Former Mogotio MP Hellen Sambili with Kanu chairman Gideon Moi at Kabarnet Gardens, Nairobi, yesterday. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Kanu is firmly in Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition, chairman Gideon Moi says.

Gideon, who is also the Baringo Senator, yesterday expressed optimism that the coalition’s candidate in the August presidential election Raila Odinga will win the poll.

He spoke at Kabarnet Gardens in Nairobi when he met Kanu aspirants.

“Kanu is in the coalition to stay and to ensure Mr Odinga wins the election,” he said.

Mr Odinga earlier this week unveiled Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua as his running mate at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.  At the time of making the announcement, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka held a parallel meeting to announce he would be going it alone for the top seat on his party’s ticket. Mr Musyoka also unveiled businessman Andrew Sunkuli as his running mate.

Starting June, Gideon said Kanu will go all out alongside other coalition members to campaign for Mr Odinga even as they vouch for the independence party’s candidates for other elective seats.

“The other coalition has been boasting that they have taken control of campaigns. From June, they will not sustain pressure from our campaigns,” the Senator said, adding that his party is committed to helping Mr Odinga to win.

The Raila-Karua team will face off with the Kenya Kwanza alliance led by UDA’s William Ruto, who also recently unveiled Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua as his running mate.

Gideon yesterday said the Azimio la Umoja- One Kenya coalition’s members need to work harder to ensure it wins by a huge margin.

“We need to ensure our candidate wins by a huge margin so we don’t have a runoff,” he said.

The Kanu chairman added: “As part of the leading parties in Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition, Kanu will ensure its members are part of the next government. We are aware that we will need to work hard and convince the people to vote for Mr Odinga if we have to achieve that goal.”

Gideon said Kanu has committed to helping its candidates during their campaigns through the provision of campaign materials.

The aspirants and elected leaders present at the meeting also asked Gideon to convince Mr Musyoka to return to Azimio.

Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda called on Gideon to use his negotiating skills to ensure the Wiper leader returns to the Azimio fold where he was promised the position of Chief Cabinet Minister.

Meanwhile, Kanu has 625 candidates who have declared their interest to vie for various seats, according to the party’s executive director George Wainaina.

He said the party will create three caucuses for women, youth, and people living with disabilities as a way of streamlining their campaign strategy.

Other leaders present were Baringo Woman Representative Gladwell Cheruiyot, nominated senator Abshiro Halake, former Mogotio MP Hellen Sambili and former Mt Elgon MP Joseph Kimkung.