We Are Not Stepping Down for Anyone, Azimio Candidates in Trans Nzoia to Raila Odinga

Raila Odinga with George Natembeya

Democratic Action of Kenya DAP-K Women Representative Candidate Phanice Khatundi who supports Assembly Speaker Joshua Werunga the DAP-K Senate Candidate laughed off proposals that Mr Werunga should step down for the ODM candidate Musoke Muliro

By David Musundi

Politicians allied to the Azimio- One Kenya Coalition in Trans Nzoia County have told off their Presidential Candidate Raila Odinga who had proposed that the coalition field a single candidate at the polls. Saboti Parliamentary Candidate David Wafula Lazaro who is vying on the Democratic Action Party –K defied the former Premier’s call saying he is firmly in the race to win back the seat he lost to Caleb Amisi.

‘’Any pressure from those desiring that I quit the race for another candidate will yield to nothing since I will be on the ballot come 9th August 2022’’, he said. He added that a proposal for him to withdraw from the race in favour of Mr Caleb Amisi was a pipe dream. Each candidate, he said, should be left to seek votes from the electorate in line with the tenets of democracy ‘’There is a need for democracy to prevail and any effort of forcing unpopular candidates down the throats of the electorate leaves democracy to escape through the window’’, he said.

The former legislator joins a long list of candidates from both Jubilee and the Democratic Action Party of Kenya DAP K whose political lives remain in limbo following the proposal to have them step down in favour of those perceived to be stronger. Democratic Action of Kenya DAP K Women representative Candidate Phanice Khatundi who is in support of the Trans Nzoia County Assembly Speaker Joshua Werunga who is DAP K Senate Candidate laughed off the proposal for Mr Werunga to step down for the ODM candidate Musoke Muliro.

‘’Each candidate should be allowed to look for votes from the electorate who are the best referees. These other games are aimed at undermining candidates from other coalition parties and must stop’’, she said. Khatundi is fighting for the women’s representative seat alongside former St. Teresa’s girls’ high school principal Susan Nelima Murumba of the Jubilee party whose party leader is President Uhuru Kenyatta. She said she will also not withdraw from the race in favour of anyone.

Saboti MP Caleb Amisi

Former Maendeleo ya Wanawake national Treasurer Naomi Kemunto Wanjara Okul is the Orange Democratic Movement’s Women representative candidate. She ruled out any plans to step down in favour of any candidate. ‘’My eyes are fixed on the 9th August election whose winner will be determined by the voters who I am sure will be voting with their conscience ‘’, she said. ‘’Who told you that I will step down for her? I entered the race to win and not to step down, give me a break’’, she added. Okul said her fate will only be determined by the voters whom she said know what they are looking for. She told the media that she had done her political mathematics well and was only waiting to be confirmed as the second women representative on 9 August.  

Her remarks come barely four days after Azimio- One Kenya Presidential Campaign Manager Moses Khaoya and his deputy Esther Koli told Democratic Action Party DAP K to shelve interests for Saboti Constituency and The Senate in favour of ODM. Khaoya said the coalition risked losing the majority of the seats if unpopular candidates refuse to step down in favour of those seen as front runners for ward, MP, Senate, Women representative and Senate. 

‘’I’m fully in support of Baba Raila Amolo Odinga and George Natembeya as President and Governor respectively. I will not step down for anyone in the MP race‘’- Pius Gumo

‘’We must agree to walk together as a team to win against the emerging wave posed by candidates from Kenya kwanza which is keen on fielding single candidates in all elective seats’’, he said. Their proposal elicited reactions from the Democratic Action Party adherents who said the only seat they had agreed on was for the Presidential Candidate and that of the Trans Nzoia governorship.

‘’We are supporting Baba Raila Amolo Odinga for the Presidency and George Natembeya for the governorship. The rest of the seats should be left open for all candidates to fairly compete’’, said Khatundi. Endebess Independent Candidate Pius Gumo who is also supporting Azimio – One Kenya Presidential Candidate Raila Odinga and George Natembeya also resisted calls for him to step down in favour of Awin Sasia Chebyagan of Democratic Action Party of Kenya DAP K.

‘’I’m fully in support of Baba Raila Amolo Odinga and George Natembeya as President and Governor respectively. I will not step down for anyone in the MP race, anyone corrupt and with a bad track record must be swept away’’, he said. He said he will not drop out of the race no matter the pressure being mounted by some Azimio functionaries whose interests are vested.

A similar deal by the Azimio team to have the Democratic Action Party of Kenya Trans Nzoia Secretary Patrick Simiyu step down in favour of Jubilee Deputy Secretary-General Joshua Kuttuny in Cherangany Constituency flopped badly with Simiyu’s supporters saying the MP should instead step down in favour of Simiyu. ‘’Kuttuny has been our member of parliament for a long time and should retire honourably. He should reciprocate our hospitality and support by stepping down for Simiyu’’, said James Wasike, a DAP member. He said it was undemocratic for someone making such proposals.

‘’Simiyu is firmly in the race for the Cherangany Parliamentary race and we will not allow him to step down in favour of arap Kuttuny who is aware that he will not win this time’’, he said

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