Headache in Azimio and Kenya Kwanza over ‘Zoning’

Raila Odinga with running mate Martha Karua

“We have already witnessed a rebellion within DP Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza outfit, the Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula and Maendeleo Chap Chap’s Alfred Mutua,”- Ali Mohammed

By The Weekly Vision

The fielding of more than one candidate for elective position from different political parties under the same coalition is turning out to be a big nightmare that is haunting the top leaders in both Azimio of Raila Odinga and Kenya Kwanza of William Ruto.

This nightmare, if not handled well, may easily lead to the respective Presidential candidates in both camps losing out on valuable votes in their quest for the top seat during the August 9th, 2022 general elections.

It may also easily lead to a scenario where both alliances lose critical numbers in their efforts to control the Senate, the National Assembly, the Council of Governors and County Assemblies for them to formulate and pass bills that are necessary for the smooth implementation of policies and development programmes with ease. Unless the two alliances go back to the drawing boards to immediately iron out these teething challenges, they will be in big trouble on ballot day.

The whole mess is compounded by individuals who failed during party primaries and who have since succeeded in being cleared to run by IEBC to contest as independent s, they will surely whittle away the numerical superiority for the winning Presidential candidate.

Azimio One Kenya Alliance was forced to call for an emergency meeting to try and iron out the issue. Azimio’s top organ, National Governing Council which is chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta met last week although the president was away in Kigali for the Commonwealth Conference

According to political analysts based in Nairobi Mr Ali Mohammed, fielding more than one candidate under the same political umbrella means dividing the votes amongst candidates allied to a particular alliance which can easily mean losing the seats to independents. “We have already witnessed a rebellion within DP Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza outfit, the Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula and Maendeleo Chap Chap’s Alfred Mutua,” said Ali Mohammed. Mr Mohammed added that the situation was made no better just recently when Moses Kuria and William Kabogo both from the Mt. Kenya region dismissed the DP’s close allies who they claimed wanted to muzzle their freedom to speak out.

DP William Ruto with his running mate Rigathi Gachagua

The situation is so bad to the extent that Azimio One Kenya Alliance was forced to call for an emergency meeting to try and iron out the issue. Azimio’s top organ, National Governing Council which is chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta met last week although the president was away in Kigali for the Commonwealth Conference. In his absence, the meeting was chaired by its Presidential candidate Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua.  In a notice to the coalition’s council members on Thursday, President Kenyatta said the meeting will review the party’s campaign strategy to ensure its presidential candidate, Mr Odinga, wins the August 9 polls. The Azimio Alliance is pushing to have ‘weak candidates drop out of the race in areas it has fielded multiple contenders and leave a single strong candidate to battle it out with their opponents from Kenya Kwanza.

The strategy is aimed at handing the alliance a super majority in the National Assembly, Senate, Council of Governors and the 47 county assemblies. The council was set up to discuss a report by a technical team recommending that some candidates be dropped from the race to avoid handing their opponents in Kenya Kwanza a win by splitting votes.

Azimio’s Secretary-General Junet Mohammed said they cannot risk losing seats by having multiple candidates who will end up splitting votes. “There is a report that the meeting will adopt. We don’t want a situation where we win the presidency but make mistakes in other seats. We also do not want to lose the losers in the party primaries; they must remain on board to continue the battle.”

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