COLLISION PATH

20 big names gunning for Raila's running mate post

Azimio parties were given up to Thursday to submit names of potential candidates.

In Summary
  • It was a day of intense lobbying with parties convening hurried meetings , further escalating tension in the jumbo coalition.
  • Gideon’s Kanu was first to recommend Kalonzo, who has twice deputised Raila in 2013 and 2017 polls.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka during an interview at SKM command centre in Karen on April 27
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka during an interview at SKM command centre in Karen on April 27
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

 At least 20 political big names, including Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, are angling to deputise ODM leader Raila Odinga in the August 9 elections.

By last evening the selection panel confirmed that they had received 20 names but remained tight-lipped on who the individuals were.

"We have received 20 applications. I can't disclose the names. Our analysis team are still busy working on the applications," said Elizabeth Meyo, who is the secretary for the seven-member panel.

One Kenya Alliance wing of the Azimio coalition on Thursday ganged up behind Kalonzo making him the most recommended candidate for Raila’s running mate.

The Oka team comprises Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Gideon Moi (Kanu), David Ochieng (Movement for Democracy and Growth) and Cyrus Jirongo (UDP).

They all wrote to the panel vouching for Kalonzo.

Azimio parties were given up to Thursday to submit names of potential candidates.

The Star could however authoritatively confirm the names of Kalonzo (Wiper), Martha Karua (Narc) and Charity Ngilu (Nark Kenya) as having been recommended to the panel.

Former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth and Muranga Women Rep Sabina Chege had also been recommended by Jubilee.

Governors Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru) and Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and James Mwangi of Equity Bank had also been reportedly recommended.

However, the Star could not independently confirm the last batch of names.

We made several calls and sent SMSs to get a comment from Mwangi as to whether he had put in an application to be considered for Raila's running mate slot.

By the time of going to press, Thursday(8pm), we had not received any response.

Gideon’s Kanu was first to recommend Kalonzo, who has twice deputised Raila in 2013 and 2017 polls.

The Baringo Senator, in a letter addressed to Wekesa on Thursday, said the former vice president is more qualified.

“The Kenya African National Union proposes and submits the name of H.E Hon. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka as its preferred candidate for the position of Deputy President in the forthcoming general election,” Moi said.

“It is our considered opinion and we strongly believe that Stephen Kalonzo fits the bill and is the most suitable to deputise Raila Amolo Odinga.”

Ugenya MP David Ochieng’ said MDG party also wrote to the panel vouching for Kalonzo in a race that has attracted at least five other candidates.

“You know for us in Oka our position is that Kalonzo should be deputy president and we will be forwarding his name there,” he said on phone.

“MDG will recommend Kalonzo.”

Narc Kenya executive director Daniels Taabu said the party had complied with the panel’s Thursday deadline for submission of names.

“Yes, she is recommended and all the necessary documents have been submitted to the panel,” Taabu said on phone.

Raila’s ODM watched from safe distance as affiliate engage in friendly fires over the deputy president position.

ODM executive director Oduor Ong’wen said ODM did not submit any name to the panel.

“No, as a party we have left it to the panel. ODM has not submitted a name,” Ong’wen said on phone.

Mandera Governor Ali Roba’s United Democratic Movement party convened a late afternoon meeting on Thursday to deliberate on their preferred candidate.

UDM secretary general David Ohito said the party will not produce a nominee but will back a candidate from the 'familiar' names.

“We are working on that, I think we will support some of the candidates already in the public domain,” Ohito said.

By press time, Democratic Action Party, another Azimio affiliate, was still consulting on who to back in the vicious battle.

“We have not submitted any name so far, but we will be doing so in the course of the day. We are working on who to recommend,” DAP-K secretary general Eseli Simiyu said on phone.

Over the last few days, Wiper camp has been protesting what they termed betrayal of a State House deal that had Kalonzo as an automatic Raila deputy.

(Edited by Tabnacha O)

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