AYES AND NAYS

Karua pick gets mixed reviews in Homa Bay

Former MP Asiyo called her a rights defender; critics said she lacks Mt Kenya clout

In Summary

• Residents Patrick Agwagra and Pamela Onyango commended Raila for the choice and urged women to elect the ticket and help achieve gender parity.

• Human rights activist Oloo Gor said Karua has less capacity to mobilise votes from Mt Kenya for Raila than Kenya Kwanza’s choice of Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua.

Former Karachuonyo MP Phoebe Asiyo.
KARUA REACTIONS: Former Karachuonyo MP Phoebe Asiyo.
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

Homa Bay residents have expressed mixed reactions to Azimio flagbearer Raila Odinga’s choice of Martha Karua as his presidential running mate.

As to be expected, reactions are mixed about both running mates.

Some supported the choice as politically wise and good for women, while others said she lacks the fire and charisma of Rigathi Gachagua, the choice of Kenya Kwanza flagbearer DP William Ruto.

Former Karachuonyo MP Phoebe Asiyo said Karua is a true defender of human rights as befits a deputy president. She called on women to elect the Raila-Karua ticket.

She said Karua is a member of Maendeleo Ya Wanawake.  

“Let women support the ticket to ensure we realise the two-thirds gender rule. We believe the law will be implemented to the letter should they ascend to power,” Asiyo said.

Residents Patrick Agwagra and Pamela Onyango commended Raila for the move and called for gender parity.

“Women are the majority and can make Karua become the first female deputy president,” Agwagra said. 

Onyango said Karua’s appointment is a serious honour to women.

“Our role as women in this country is to support Raila so that we can have a deputy president who is a woman,” she said.

However, human rights activist Oloo Gor opposed the selection, saying Karua has less capacity to mobilise votes from Mt Kenya to vote for Raila than Deputy President Ruto's choice of Gachagua.

Gor said the presidential race requires a running mate who can mobilise many voters from vote-rich Mt Kenya.

“Remember, the main focus in this game is Mt Kenya. Gachagua can motivate and get out the vote.

He said Raila should have gone for another candidate from Mt Kenya.

“Karua contested the presidency in 2013 and got a handful of votes. There were other candidates like Peter Kenneth who should have been accorded the opportunity,” Oloo said.

Other residents agreed with Oloo, saying Gachagua was more forceful and effective, known for his rhetoric. Some said Gachagua was too much like Ruto himself.

Others were ambivalent.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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