Lee Kinyanjui warns ‘newcomers’ against seeking running mate slot in Azimio, says post is reserved for Mt Kenya
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui has insisted that the running mate position in the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition is a reserve for the Mt Kenya region.
In what seems to be a direct attack on Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and his brigade, Kinyanjui said that the running mate position should be reserved for Mt Kenya and not leaders who recently joined the Raila-led camp.
According to Kinyanjui, the Mt Kenya region has been supporting Azimio's presidential candidate Raila Odinga for the longest time and therefore deserves the seat.
“We are not blind followers, the region of Mt.Kenya expects nothing short of the deputy president. It doesn't matter which part of the region the leader will come from," Kinyanjui said.
He added: "We began this journey long ago when other leaders did not even want to associate with Baba (Raila). Those who recently joined us have now taken the front seat demanding the running mate position, we want to warn them that we are not in Azimio by chance but by choice."
Kinyanjui's statement comes after Kalonzo revealed in a Wiper Party meeting that he is the 'obvious' choice to be Raila's running mate in the coming election.
“I’m going to campaign for Raila like never before and those who are asking who is going to be the running mate, that is obvious," he said in a meeting with Wiper aspirants eyeing the party’s ticket in Nairobi last week.
Those allied to the former vice president also maintained that he (Kalonzo) has the experience and resources to ensure Raila clinches the presidency in the August 9 general election.
Led by Wiper Party, Vice-Chair Senator Mutula Kilonzo, Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Wiper Party chairman Chirau Ali Mwakwere, the Wiper leaders noted that they will not expect anything less than the running mate position in the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party.
"We will not accept anything less than running mate for Kalonzo. It is a must," Sonko said.
But their colleagues in Azimio, drawn from the Mt Kenya region, have refuted the demand noting that they are new in the coalition and cannot be given the running mate position. Leaders from Mt Kenya also noted that they have the numbers to make Raila the next president compared to their friends from Wiper.
Murang'a County Woman Representative Sabina Chege noted that the interest of millions of people from the Mt Kenya region must not be overlooked in Raila's government should he win the elections and therefore they (those from Mt Kenya) should get an equal share in government positions.
"We need to know our stake as the mountain in the government that will be formed. We have the numbers and therefore our major concern should be; What is our share? We should note even shy away from asking that," she said.