Nyeri Deputy Governor Dr Caroline Karugu says her decision to join the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition had nothing to do with getting a leadership position.
Speaking during a live morning Inooro TV talk show, Dr. Karugu said her choice was arrived at after realizing the coalition offered the only best solution in solving the challenges affecting millions of people in the country.
The career banker who currently doubles as Raila Odinga’s deputy Chief Agent also promised to give her best input in ensuring the coalition wins with an impressive margin in the August 9 poll.
“I realized that out of all political wings that were presenting their presidential candidates to the public, none of them was offering any concrete solution to the needs and aspirations of the people apart from the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition. I therefore decided to back Raila’s presidential ambition since his ideals happened to resonate with what our people needed on the ground but not because I had been promised anything,” she said.
The deputy governor has also refuted claims that Raila had spoken ill in regard to the secondhand clothes business popularly known as mitumba saying the matter had only been blown out of proportion by his critics.
She accused a section of leaders opposed to the recently unveiled Azimio la Umoja One Kenya 10-point manifesto for what she said was by politicizing the issue instead of scrutinizing it in details.
Raila, according to Dr Karugu, has never downgraded the multibillion sector that employs millions of Kenyans but only promised to enact policies that will ensure clothes imported into the country were of good quality.
“We should never read politics in regard to what Raila said in view of restructuring the mitumba business. His sentiments were actually drawn from what the public had informed us during our tours while collecting views on the Building Bridges Initiative where sector players complained about the poor quality of clothes they were receiving from outside the country. The bone of contention was that they were causing huge losses owing to such merchandise and therefore wanted something done to address the matter,” she explained.
Raila’s Monday remarks on the mitumba clothes business has raised a myriad of reactions on both social and mainstream media with a section of the public calling for clarity on the issue.
While unveiling his manifesto at Nyayo Stadium Monday night, Raila had remarked that mitumba clothes worn by Kenyans were picked from people who are already deceased.
“Our people are only wearing clothes coming from outside the country already worn by people who are dead,” Raila said.
“We are going to go to primary production so that our people who are importing mitumba can have good products to sell here.”
Probed on why she thought Raila picked her as one of her chief agents, Dr Karugu, who has already fallen out with her boss Mutahi Kahiga, described her loyalty and honesty as part of her selling points.
She said due to the sensitivity and demanding nature of the position, it would have been foolhardy for the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential flag bearer to settle on a person who was lacking in any of those credentials.
“My position will entail monitoring the streaming of results at the Bomas of Kenya, a responsibility that requires someone who is honest, trustworthy and hardworking. I will also be involved in sensitizing and educating the public on the need to vote wisely for leaders who have policies geared towards improving their lives. This is the duty that has been entrusted to me by my coalition and which I aspire to execute to the end,” she added.
On claims of tampering with the official Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission poll register as alluded by the Kenya Kwanza presidential flag bearer Dr William Ruto, Dr Karugu scoffed at the allegations terming them indicators of frustrations.
She has urged the public to ignore individuals making such claims and wait for August 9 to cast their votes for their preferred candidate.