Cracks Emerge in Azimio Over New Strategy Against UDA

  • Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Narc-Kenya party leader, Martha Karua
    Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Narc-Kenya party leader, Martha Karua
    File
  • Cracks have emerged in Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party over a new strategy the Raila Odinga-led faction is seeking to use against the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ahead of the August 9 General Election.

    Reports indicate that some affiliate parties are opposed to the coalition's plans to field one candidate against UDA candidates in regions where there are more than two candidates from the parties allied to the Azimio la Umoja.

    The strategy aimed at taming sibling rivalry within the coalition is one of the agenda to be discussed and endorsed today (Friday, June 24) during the Azimio council meeting convened by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

    Deputy President William Ruto and running mate Rigathi Gachagua during a rally in Uthiru on Sunday, June 5, 2022
    Deputy President William Ruto and running mate Rigathi Gachagua during a rally in Uthiru on Sunday, June 5, 2022.
    William Ruto

    Speaking to Nation Africa on Wednesday, June 23, Kakamega governor and Azimio National Executive Council (NEC) chairperson, Wycliffe Oparanya, revealed that they have already commissioned a team to do polls on the popularity of the coalition's candidates.

    He stated that the report would be discussed by the party members and the perceived weak candidates will be asked to step down.

    “By the end of the month, we shall know which candidates will fly our flag where and in which positions,” Oparanya stated.

    However, the strategy will be used in counties perceived as battle grounds for both Deputy President William Ruto and the ODM boss, Raila Odinga.

    Additionally, the coalition will also rely to intelligence collected by various government agencies to gauge the popularity of candidates.

    Some of the counties targeted in the strategy include those in the vote rich Mount Kenya, Western, Eastern, and Coast region.

    During her campaigns in Mount Kenya, Azimio presidential running mate, Martha Karua, defended the strategy stating that it will give them an upper hand in the August 9 polls.

    She stated that the coalitions would make the process consultative in a bid to tame fallout within its members.

    “The selection of the candidates and popularity study will be fair and everyone will be involved. Our intention is not to bar anyone from contesting but we have to get the strongest candidate to ensure that we win most of the seats.

    “We will sit down and decide which candidate to present to the voters. We must ensure that you have elected a governor and other leaders whom we will work smoothly with,” she stated then.

    Azimio running mate Martha Karua addressing supporters during a rally in Laikipia County on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.
    Azimio running mate Martha Karua addressing supporters during a rally in Laikipia County on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.
    Martha Karua