• “Picking Karua will give women the morale and confidence that the coalition values the contribution of women in this country. Karua is presidential material,” Viola said.
• Mayieka said they have no issue with Chege, but she is still very young and has time to gain experience before venturing into national politics.
Maendeleo Ya Wanawake leaders in Coast want Azimio leader Raila Odinga to pick Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua as his running mate.
The lobby said Karua is the best fit.
MYWO national treasurer Agnes Viola said Karua has been tried, tested and has the experience.
“Picking Karua will give women the morale and confidence that the coalition values the contribution of women in this country. Karua is presidential material,” she said.
The leaders spoke in Mombasa on Friday evening, after a meeting to plan for the MYWO 70th anniversary, to be held later this month.
Viola said they will rally women across the country to throw their weight behind the Azimio-One Kenya coalition.
“We need to put our house in order, which begins with naming the presidential running mate. As Coast women, we want the position given to Karua,” she said.
The ruling Jubilee party on Thursday fronted former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth and Murang'a Woman Representative Sabina Chege to the Azimio running mate selection panel.
MYWO national organising secretary Elizabeth Mayieka said they have no issue with Chege, but she is still very young and has time to gain experience before venturing into national politics.
“Karua is a veteran in national politics compared to Chege who is still young. As Kenyan women, we see that she (Karua) is the right person for the DP job.
“We are also looking at someone who can add something to the vote basket, which is why we support Karua,” she said.
MYWO national chairperson Rahab Mulu said political parties should not look at women through the gender lens.
She said women are more disadvantaged compared to their male counterparts.
“If you look at the number of elected MCA’s, we have only 97 women from the 1,450 wards in the country,” Mulu said.
She said this is proof that the one-third gender rule is still a problem in Kenya.
“We are happy that we have a number of women who were issued with certificates during the just concluded primaries.
"However, we still call for parties to nominate more women both in the National Assembly, Senate and county assemblies,” Mulu said.
The chairperson futher said that women who will be lucky to get elected in August should uphold their integrity and serve as role models.
Mulu also said Karua is more experienced and fit to deputise Raila.
“The question we are asking is what happens to the wisdom that comes with age? The fact is older women have more experience,” she said.
Mulu said Coast is the fifth region she had visited, where women are calling for Karua to be Raila’s number two.
“I have not implied at anything, the women have spoken. Mine is just to tell President Uhuru Kenyatta, you have heard what the women are saying,” she said.
The chairperson said while campaigning for Jubilee in 2017, many women wanted first lady Margaret Kenyatta to succeed him in 2022.
“It is serious business that women have decided and expressed their views. As I head to Nyanza next week, I will also listen to what they are saying,” she said.
On Thursday, KANU chairman Gideon Moi endorsed Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka as Raila’s running mate.
Kalonzo has deputised Raila twice in 2013 and 2017, in which they both lost to Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto.
Other nominees fronted for the running mate position include Governors Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru), Hassan Joho (Mombasa) and Charity Ngilu (Kitui).
Also, Agriculture CS Peter Munya and Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi.
(Edited by Bilha Makokha)