Ball in Raila’s court as he receives 3 candidates for deputy post
The battle for Azimio-One Kenya running mate appeared to go to the wire yesterday after the selection panel handed its final report to ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Well placed sources within the panel chaired by former Cabinet minister Noah Wekesa said the battle had narrowed down to Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, her Wiper party counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka and Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, in that order.
While Wekesa, at a press conference yesterday afternoon, refrained from giving the three-member shortlist given to Raila, sources maintained that Karua had emerged the top candidate.
Karua appeared to get crucial endorsement in her pursuit for the number two job from none other than Raila’s wife, Ida Odinga, at a Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation (MYWO) function in Kisumu yesterday.
MYWO chairperson Rahab Mwikali set the pace during the event when she stated that Karua should be given the slot, as she is equal to the task.
“I want to state here that Karua is fit to be Baba’s running mate and we as women are strongly backing her bid,” Mwikali said.
Then came Ida, who paraded Karua and Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege before the audience, saying that she wished them well in their quest to become Raila’s running mate. Ida termed the efforts by the two to rise to higher echelons of power as an affirmation that women were equally fit to lead just as men.
She, however, defied calls from a section of the crowd to endorse either Karua or Chege. Addressing the gathering, Ida maintained that it was not in their place to endorse either of the two.
“The prerogative to select lies with the selection panel and not us. We can only wish them success,” she said.
In Nairobi, Wekesa said the panel had submitted its report and recommendations to Raila, who was on the campaign trail in Kilifi county, yesterday morning.
“The panel wishes to inform the public that it has dispatched its final recommendations to the candidate. This follows the inability of the candidate to disengage from the political exercise he is involved in to come to us to receive the report,” said Wekesa.
He added that the recommendations are contained in a report that lays out the criteria and modalities that were used by the members to evaluate the applicants.
The panel pegged its interviews on constitutional qualification, understanding of government, the personality of the candidates, political acumen, compatibility and loyalty, strategic significance and the fight against corruption among others.