Residents of Nyeri have joined hundreds of Kenyans in expressing their sentiments following the endorsement of Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua as the Azimio la Umoja -One Kenya coalition running mate.
The coalition’s flag bearer Raila Odinga endorsed Karua as his running mate late on Monday making her the first woman, in a major presidential ticket, in the country to be placed a heartbeat away from the presidency.
The move immediately prompted celebrations across various parts of the country especially among women leaders who described the decision as a defining moment in the history of the country since independence.
Nyeri residents have also not been left behind with the majority lauding Raila for settling on the former Gichugu lawmaker and one time cabinet minister as his deputy.
For instance, Charles Wang’ombe, argues that Raila took the best decision by choosing Karua as she brings on board a leader who will transform the fortunes of the country since she is not tainted by any scandal.
He also insists that all the troubles Raila has gone through in his political career should be complemented by having a worthy and competent deputy and Martha fits that bill.
“Raila has fought for this country all throughout his life including being incarcerated agitating for democracy. His unrelenting fighting spirit has always found him in the trenches fighting for the common man since the reign of President Daniel Moi, through President Kibaki’s government and now even Uhuru Kenyatta. Martha is therefore just the woman Raila deserves,” he said.
Paul Maina, a businessman in Nyeri town, has also described Martha as the best running mate arguing that choosing a woman as a running mate means that Kenya would be in safe hands.
Maina says they were only waiting for the general election to secure Karua’s seat as the deputy President.
“Raila is poised to be the next president with Karua as his running mate and we are eagerly waiting for the election date to swear him in as our next leader. Ruto will have to wait for ten more years to be considered for the presidency. As of now he doesn’t have what it takes to lead this country,” he argues.
A source who wished to remain anonymous said Karua’s choice as the running mate is a turnaround for women as it marks the beginning of brighter days for them in Kenya’s leadership.
She added that her nomination as Kenya’s second in command in case Raila wins the presidency being chosen meant that finally there would be someone who could address issues affecting women adequately.
“For many years, we have felt like women cannot climb to the top positions in the country’s leadership and that such positions are only reserved for men. However, Karua has made us feel nothing is impossible for a woman and we women are finally getting recognized. Our days of being perceived as the weaker gender are finally coming to an end,” she said.
But Wamugunda Wanderi, a Nyeri taxi driver claims Karua’s choice is inconsequential as far as the voting pattern of Mount Kenya is concerned.
Wanderi observes that after Kenya Kwanza presidential candidate Dr William Ruto settled on Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua as his running mate, the region made up the decision on which side to back come August 9 election.
He added that by Raila nominating Karua, the move only sealed his doom of being elected as the fifth president of Kenya.
“Martha Karua resigned from her Cabinet position under the late President Kibaki’s government. Later she lost the Kirinyaga gubernatorial seat to Ann Waguru in 2017. What makes Raila now so certain she will attract voters from the Mount Kenya region to his side?” he poses.
Samuel Magento, also observes that Azimio’s pick on Karua would turn out to be Raila’s final Waterloo in his fifth stab at the presidency.
Magento has described the move as ill-informed on the part of the coalition which has already seen the exit of three of its key partners in less than a month due to allegations of mistrust, underhand deals and outright betrayal.
“Martha Karua’s choice as Raila Odinga’s running mate has only managed to move the Azimio alliance several steps backwards as far as winning the presidency is concerned. Karua lacks the magic needed to convince the people of this region to back Raila for the presidency. She lacks the charisma and the popularity they need to convince the mass to vote for Azimio. This might just be the earliest sign of defeat,” he said.