Azimio La Umoja coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga unveiled NARC-Kenya Party leader Martha Karua as his running mate in the forthcoming August 9 General Elections.
Odinga selected Karua from a list of 11 individuals that included former VP Kalonzo Musyoka who went through mockery interviews at Serena Hotel, Nairobi.
The opposition chief who has lost presidency five times described Ms Karua as “a fighter, safe pair of hands and a woman with a beautiful soul.” But is that the person Karua is as much the country is being coerced to celebrate her nomination to such a high ranking position?
Karua led a team of crooked politicians who took advantages in the old constitution to swear in a leader at night after chaos erupted in Kenya following disputed election results.
She is known for her hard stance and she proved to be a stubborn hardliner as Kenya struggled to broker a peaceful deal to heal from the chaos.
The former Gichugu MP is the hardliner who created an impasse as the country continued to burn from violence that had engulfed the important East African nation. She was opposed to Raila Odinga being part of the grand coalition which was the only sure way of ending violence.
And in the run up to 2013 elections, Martha Karua dismissed Odinga’s candidature telling him to retire with the late former President Mwai Kibaki who had completed his two terms.
She was strongly against Odinga becoming president and she had also fallen out with President Kibaki who appointed her to the cabinet.
Her fall out with the late president is attributed to her hunger for power. Ms Karua was unhappy that Kibaki did not appoint her to the deputy prime minister position but chose Uhuru Kenyatta instead.
Martha was Odinga’s fierce critic for a long time and she participated in any plot that aimed at blocking or frustrating Odinga presidency. The ODM leader at some point described her as ‘a barking dog’ due to her strong opposition to his political moves.
The two veteran politicians having been feuding for better part of their careers but are now convenient friends to give a stab at presidency.
The only common thing between them is that they have both been on a long losing streak. Odinga lost presidency in 1997, 2013 and twice in 2017. Martha Karua has never been able to win elections since 2013 when she got some 43,000 votes when she vied for presidency.
In 2017, she lost Kirinyaga gubernatorial contest to Anne Waiguru who had just joined politics after years as a public servant. So Martha Karua is a tired politician who cannot inspire and rally women behind Odinga or face the tide in Mt. Kenya where Kenyatta has terribly failed.
But while unveiling Ms Karua as his running mate, Odinga also nominated her as the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Constitutional Affairs should they form the next government.
The move that needs amendment of the law to become a reality is meant to dilute the powers that come with the office of the deputy president by assigning her other roles.
It is because Odinga does not want a stronger deputy, but one he can dictate to toe his lines since the current law does not allow presidents to fire their deputies.
The ODM leader who is enjoying the backing of the State has promised to carry on with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s poor policies which have ruined the economy.
He is ignoring the need to fix the messed economy to play gender card and make second liberation chants but his dream is to amend the law and create positions for his cronies in Azimio.
Odinga will be more like Kenyatta chose to frustrate and push his deputy Dr. William Ruto to the periphery in his second term to work with him [Odinga].
The move to force a cabinet position on Ms Karua is a raw deal to Kenyan women who are dying to realize gender parity that the current regime has frustrated.
But Kenya Kwanza flag-bearer Dr Ruto who unveiled Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua as his running mate vowed to have ten Cabinet slots in his administration reserved for women.
His UDA party has also cleared women to run for top positions across the country including Aisha Jumwa for Kilifi governor, Susan Kihika for Nakuru governor, Ann Waiguru for Kirinyaga governor and Celicia Mbarire for Embu governor.
The young party is also hailed for conducting fair and credible party nominations which produced the youngest and little known candidate for women Representative position.
Linet Chepkorir, 24, won the UDA ticket in the race for Bomet woman representative seat after she defied all odds and put up a spirited fight to beat10 political big wigs.
So it is the Kenya Kwanza’s deal for women that looks honest and attainable. Azimio coalition is hoodwinking women with one unrealistic slot at the top but all other slots are preserved for retiring governors from ODM and Jubilee parties.
Odinga-Karua ticket is not progressive but their long losing streak and the fact that Ruto has combed the ground can spare Kenya the chaotic danger that they pose.
A part from the opposition chief being popular for losing presidential votes and refusing to concede, his running mate is an equal power hungry politician and queen of double speech.
Martha Karua is now part of the group she opposed in court for attempting overhaul the constitution through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to create unnecessary seats at the executive.
Kenyan women deserve a better representative on top not Ms Karua with a dented image and history of opposing everything including those that benefit ordinary women.