My friendship with Raila is not political – Tabitha Karanja
When Tabitha Karanja announced her intentions to run for the Nakuru senate seat, most people thought she would contest for the seat under Raila Odinga's Azimio la Umoja movement courtesy of her friendship with the ODM boss.
Last week, however, the businesswoman surprised many when she announced that she will be contesting for the seat under Deputy President William Ruto's United Democratic Party (UDA).
Asked by a local publication why she chose DP Ruto over Raila, Karanja said that her move to join UDA had nothing to do with her friendship with the former Prime Minister.
She said her decision to join UDA was a well-calculated move that was based on a survey she conducted in Nakuru. Karanja said that she conducted three different surveys that revealed to her that she stood higher chances of winning the election if she joined Ruto's team.
"I conducted a survey in Nakuru and 82 per cent of the people who were interviewed wanted me to join UDA. I responded to their demand," Karanja told the publication.
Her friendship with Raila goes back to over a decade and the ODM boss has on several occasions paid homage to her. Notably, Raila is the one who laid the foundation stone for her Naivasha-based brewery.
Raila's allies led by Siaya Senator James Orengo have also presented Karanja in various legal battles involving tax issues.
The Keroche Breweries chief said that her decision to join the Hustler Nation did not affect her relationship with Raila. She said that she still considers the ODM boss a great politician who means well for the country.
"Raila is a political enigma and that is an undisputed fact. He means well for the country. I have a long-standing friendship with him and I wish him well in his endeavours," she said.
Adding: "I like his ideology so much and share some of his philosophies."