Inside Politics

Azimio sends mixed signals over zoning for its affiliate parties

Monday, May 9th, 2022 00:04 | By
ODM MP Junet Mohammed
Suna East MP Junet Mohammed. PHOTO/Courtesy

Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya coalition yesterday continued to send mixed signals after one of its top leaders declared that only Nairobi will be subjected to zoning of its affiliate parties. 

There were initial reports that some regions including Mombasa, Nyanza and Nairobi could be assigned to specific parties within the coalition, in a  that could have locked out some contestants.

Speaking in Nairobi yesterday, Azimio Secretary Junet Mohamed said the coalition would use opinion polls, among other scientific methods to identify its candidates among constituent parties, who will be their flag bearers for the August 9 polls.

This is in a bid to ward off strong opposition from their opponents in the Kenya Kwanza affiliates so as to enable each outfit in the coalition to ring-fence its strongholds.

In electoral areas where there is no popular party, all sister outfits would be allowed to field a candidate since even their opponent will not be assured of a win.

Amid the disquiet in the coalition over plans to zone the country according to the strength of affiliate parties, the Raila Odinga-led coalition argues that the scientific methods will gauge the strength and popularity of candidates and their parties before endorsing them.

Junet yesterday said other than Nairobi City County where Jubilee, the Orange party and Wiper have agreed to share seats from Assembly members, MP slots, and county seats, no region has been zoned for any political party.

“As far as I am concerned and Azimio-One Kenya, there is no agreed position as of now on zoning save for Nairobi where Jubilee and ODM have shared the available seat,” Junet told journalists at a Nairobi hotel.

Every candidate

“There is no agreed position. What you are seeing is just speculation, but there is no position agreed on zoning,” he added.

Should there be planned zoning of affiliate parties, the Suna East lawmaker said the coalition has mechanisms to deal with emerging issues in accordance with the organs within the coalition.

“But as it stands today, every candidate who is vying on any party affiliated to Azimio is allowed to campaign. Parties are allowed to field candidates and campaign as much as they possibly can,” he held.

Junet spoke as the perceived small parties reckon that zoning would make them suffer at the expense of the three major coalition partners — Jubilee, the Orange Democratic Movement and Wiper.

 “YE Odinga, you promised the 22 emerging political parties that there would be no zoning of regional enclaves. We joined Azimio upon your word and in good faith. In both Cord and Nasa the so-called small parties fared badly. Let us not guillotine democracy,” Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana tweeted on yesterday.

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