Panafrican News Agency

Opposition leader Raila Odinga names Martha Karua, Iron Lady of Kenyan politics, as running mate

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Kenyan opposition leader, Raila Odinga, the presidential candidate of the Azimio la Umoja coalition, has named former Justice Minister, Martha Karua, as his running mate in the 9 August 2022 general elections.

Odinga also named a presidential core team if his coalition won. It comprised former Vice President, Kalonzo Musyoka, to become the Chief Cabinet Secretary, former Speaker of Parliament, Kenneth Marende, to become Senate Speaker, Wycliffe Oparanya, Cabinet Secretary, Treasury, Peter Munya, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary and Ali Hassan Joho.

While making the announcement at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre on Monday, Odinga said he chose Karua as a "Principle Assistant", to provide administrative defence to the Office of the President.

"She has credentials in the fight for our liberation," said Odinga, who made the unveiling of the running mate hours before the midnight deadline for nominating the running mates.

Odinga said if his coalition wins the election, the deputy president should provide complimentary support to the presidency and not a competitor.

Karua, who served as Justice minister in President Mwai Kibaki's administration, was a significant player in the disputed presidential elections in 2007.

She quit the Kibaki administration after the late President sidestepped her to name Uhuru Kenyatta to the post of Deputy Prime Minister in the grand coalition government created after the disputed elections.

The public reaction to Karua's naming was swift. Supporters poured out into the streets across several towns in Central Kenya, where she hails from, singing her praises.

Karua pledged to help raise Kenya's international image. She said the new government would mount a battle against disease, illiteracy and ignorance and preventable deaths.

"This is a moment for women in Kenya," Karua said in a speech accepting the nomination.

"Not surprising. Women in Kenya have always struggled to come to the decisionmaking table," said Karua.

Odinga praised Karua for standing with him during his years of political struggle when he was detained for agitating change.

-0- PANA AO/MA 16May2022