Efforts by Agriculture CS Peter Munya to secure the much-coveted Azimio running-mate position have been dealt a fatal blow following the recent entry of Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka into the Coalition.
Peter Kenneth and Martha Karua also featured more conspicuously as the preferred runningmates from the Mt. Kenya region.
However, Jubilee Party Vice-Chairman David Murathe has now revealed that the post of Mr Raila Odinga’s running mate will not be given to a leader from Mt Kenya.
“As Mt Kenya, we are not so keen on the running-mate but our fair share of the Azimio government. If that is what it will take to bring Kalonzo, so be it,” Mr. Murathe said.
According to Murathe, the Kikuyu community has been at the helm for 35 years – President Jomo Kenyatta (15 years), President Mwai Kibaki (10 years) and President Uhuru Kenyatta (10 years), hence it should not be a major concern what position the community gets so long as it gets its fair share of government.
In an interview with KTN at his Tseikuru home Monday, Mr. Musyoka said discussions on who will be Mr. Odinga’s running mate were yet to take place. He said his decision to back the ODM leader’s presidential bid was not based on what position he secures.
However, speaking in Tharaka Nithi shortly after the Azimio Convention, Kalonzo hinted at deputizing Mr. Odinga, saying he would follow DP Ruto’s footsteps immediately after the August 9 polls.
“I will follow William Ruto’s footsteps. Immediately Raila Odinga wins this thing on August 9, I will start my 2027 campaigns,” said Mr. Musyoka.
Murathe’s sentiments spell doom to CS Munya’s ambition of being Mr. Odinga’s runningmate, even with the recent move by Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi who joined the Azimio la Umoja Coalition last week.
Several Mt. Kenya leaders have expressed dissatisfaction with Mr. Muskoka’s entry, insisting the running-mate position must go to Mt Kenya due to the region’s voter numbers.
Mt Kenya is home to 10 counties that are responsible for a third of the country’s total number of voters. Meru County has 780,858 voters, Tharaka-Nithi County has 234,618 voters, Embu County has 337,627 voters, Nyeri County has 492,046 voters, and Kirinyaga has 378,580 voters.
Others are Murang’a (628,416 voters), Kiambu (1,293,309 voters), Laikipia (265,842 voters), Nyandarua (362,357 voters) and Nakuru (1,050,367 voters).
With Munya not securing a key position in the Azimio arrangement, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi’s second term remains at risk following the recent entry of UDA’s Mithika Linturi to the race.
Kiraitu vs Ruto
In a TV interview on Monday (14th March 2022), Governor Kiraitu admitted that DP Ruto enjoys unwavering support in Meru and other Mt. Kenya Counties, and expressed hopes that this would change if Raila Odinga picked CS Munya as his running-mate.
While on a campaign trail in Meru County on Saturday (12th March 2022), DP Ruto revealed that he had warned Governor Kiraitu against joining the Raila-led Azimio camp.
Accompanied by Senator Linturi and South Imenti MP Kathuri Murungi in Nkubu town, DP Ruto urged Meru residents to vote out Governor Kiraitu, citing his recent decision to navigate his Mbus Party to Raila Odinga’s camp.
“Si nilisimama hapa nikaambia mzee Kiraitu sisi hatuendi kwa mtu ya kitendawili? Nyinyi ndio mlimtuma kwa kitendawili na Azimio? Mnasema aende nyumbani?” Ruto asked residents of Nkubu in Meru County who resoundingly agreed with his sentiments.
The video has since gone viral on Social Media, with several lieutenants in Kiraitu’s camp terming it disrespectful to the Mbus Party leader.
According to Athwana Ward MCA Victor Kariithi, DP Ruto’s sentiments are a direct assault to Governor Kiraitu’s democratic right that allows him to chat his own political path.
“Peter Munya strongly supports Hon Raila Odinga for Presidency, I never see William Ruto talking at him while at Muthara or Maua. It surprises me why DP Ruto has to always belittle Kiraitu Murungi in Nkubu at every opportunity.” says Hon. Kariithi.
“Similarly, Kilemi Mwiria supports Raila, probably more than anyone I know. Ruto respects that and has never made it an issue at Kianjai/Tigania West.” says Kariithi, a vocal supporter of Governor Kiraitu.
On his part, Governor Murungi says Ruto’s persistent attacks on his gubernatorial bid are misplaced and unnecessary.
“I am not competing with William Ruto. My competitors are Senator Linturi and Ciondagara. Ruto should directly address his competitor Raila Odinga.” says Kiraitu.
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