Raila defends the choice of running mate while the Azimio Coalition courts clerics

Raila Odinga (left) and his companion Martha Karua with Father Joseph Mutie and Rev. Samwel Thiong’o after a meeting on May 23, 2022. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja A Kenyan presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, has defended the election of Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua as his running mate.

Mr Odinga said Ms Karua is a capable leader who will add value to the government should it win the Aug. 9 election. He said his political rivals had panicked after the excitement of Karua’s nomination.

“Our opponents only dismissed Mama Karua as a woman after I made her my comrade-in-arms. I want to tell them that I have full confidence in them and that we will take Kenya out of the clutches of corruption,” Mr Odinga said.

The Azimio presidential candidate said Ms. Karua stood up like a “man” during the second liberation struggle in the 1990s, and that time is ripe for women leaders to sit at the decision table.

“Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel left a rich legacy in their countries. So our opponents should direct their energies elsewhere and allow Karua to help Azimio form the next government,” he said.

Mr. Odinga spoke as he met more than 300 religious leaders from African independent churches from the 47 districts at the Wonder Joy Grounds along Kiambu Road. He urged religious leaders to preach peace before the elections.

“If we don’t change course, we’ll be where we are in another 50 years. God also helps those who are willing to help themselves and not those who rely on charity. It is time for Kenyans to change direction to restore the dignity of our country,” he told the gathering.

The Azimio leader urged churches to join efforts to combat bribery and bad governance.

“As Azimio, we are determined to transform Kenya’s economy so that it can compete with the Asian tigers like South Korea, which used to compete in the same league with Kenya,” he said.

Ms. Karua asked the clergy to preach peace during the election campaign. She said the Azimio campaign team will not be distracted by insults by its opponents.

“We sell policies, not insults. I would like to reassure the Kenyans that we will carry out our mandate as required by law. I know Raila is a workaholic and ruler of law advocate and I urge you as church leaders to support our team,” she said.

The Azimio leaders were accompanied by Interior Minister Karanja Kibicho, Suna East MP Junet Mohammed, among others.

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