Raila Odinga, Kenya presidential flag bearer and the Azimio la Umoja One yesterday annoucned the seven panelists who will elect his running mate.
The seven panelist made of Bishop Peter Njenga, Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth, Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua, Michael Orwa, Noah Wekesa, Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa and Beatrice Askul Moe will be expected to present “a name, or names,” of the running mate candidate by May 10.
Raila Odinga arrived at the seven names after discussing with the Azimio council, led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and which includes Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Narc Kenya’s Martha Karua.Azimio Secretary General Junet Mohamed.
Elizabeth Meyo, who is a member of Raila’s campaign board, will be the panel’s secretary. “The panel shall reach a decision through consensus and elect its chairperson,” Junet said.
The main task of the seven panelist is to vet the nominees for the vacant position, a process the Azimio Secretary General described as a matter of national relevance, adding that they would establish the modalities that would guide their selection.
Azimio reportedly prefers opinion polls in electing Raila’s running mate.
“They will develop their terms of reference but we have told them what we expect them to look at,” Junet added, pointing out principles such as fidelity to the Constitution that a prospective running mate must espouse.
“The eligible candidate must express, in word and deed… guiding principles to leadership and integrity… personal integrity in personal and private life,” he said.
The Suna East MP denied plans of selecting Raila’s running mate through an alternative process, terming the route of a selection panel as international best practice.
“We have borrowed from mature democracies… the candidate does not want to make a decision solely. He wants to give Kenyans an opportunity to contribute,” he stated.
The panel is a result of talks that, according to Kalonzo, saw council members front names of those they wanted considered.
Wafula Chebukati Invites All Presidential Candidates To A Meeting Next Week
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairperson Wafula Chebukati has invited all the four presidential candidates to a meeting on Wednesday next week.
The candidates; William Ruto (United Democratic Alliance Party), Raila Odinga (Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance), George Wajackoya of Roots Party, and Waihiga Mwaure of Agano Party will meet with Chebukati at Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club for consultations.
Key on the agenda will be to discuss the printed voter register, the election results path and the harmonization of campaign schedules for the candidates.
“Please note that you may be accompanied to the meeting by not more than five persons,” the IEBC Chairperson said in a circular.
An audit of the Register of Voters (ROV) was recently completed by audit firm KPMG and the final report submitted to IEBC on June 18.
Chebukati stated that a total of 46,232 polling stations have been registered in 2022. This is a 13 per cent increase from 2017 where 40,883 polling stations were registered.
The number of registered voters has also risen from 19.6 million to 22.1 million, equivalent to 12.79 per cent.
According to IEBC CEO Marjan Hussein, the audit report also revealed a massive transfer of voters.
“KPMG analysed the full register and noted that there were transfer transactions processed between 2017 general election and May 2022.
“The analysis of those transfers identified several constituencies and counties showing trends of abnormal voter transfers having been processed in the Register of Voters,” Marjan said.
No Cause For Alarm, William Ruto Assures Residents Over Fears Of Poll Chaos
Deputy President William Ruto has assured Nakuru County residents that there will be peace before, during and after the August 9 General Election.
The UDA leader, speaking after a meeting with residents, called on Kenyans seeking seats to commit to peaceful campaigns.
Njoro, Molo, Kuresoi and Elburgon residents, who met the DP and other Kenya Kwanza leaders yesterday, had expressed fears over possible poll chaos in their areas ahead of elections.
Ruto was accompanied by his running mate Rigathi Gachagua, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika, Njoro MP Charity Kathambi, Bahati’s Kimani Ngunjiri and Senate aspirant Tabitha Karanja.
The media was locked out of the meeting that lasted more than six hours. Speaker after speaker at the event claimed they were living in fear as the ghosts of previous poll chaos haunt them. The locals said they were hesitant to support Ruto fearing he would not take care of their interests.
“We have had fears and we keep asking ourselves what will happen if we give the Deputy President this seat. Will he take care of us? That has been our fear. That is why in this area, we are hesitant to support you,” said Mr John Macharia.
The issue of land and displaced persons also cropped up, with locals calling on Ruto to promise to he will address their issues should he succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr Peter Gikonyo said displaced people in Molo were never compensated. He said there are fears hostilities could return as the campaigns peak. He told the Kenya Kwanza brigade that their hearts are heavy for fear of the unknown.
“Give out an order immediately you get elected so that those occupying land that was not allocated to them can vacate it,” he said.
While assuring the residents of peace, Ruto called on Azimio la Umoja One Kenya flag bearer Raila Odinga and other leaders to condemn political violence.
The DP said he made a major sacrifice in 2012 when he dropped his presidential bid to support Uhuru for the sake of peace. He assured locals that the August poll will be orderly and peaceful, saying the country had learnt lessons from the 2007-2008 post-election skirmishes.