The announcement of the top three candidates for the running mate position of Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya flagbearer Raila Odinga has been postponed to tomorrow, Thursday, May 12.
It was meant to come today (Wednesday, May 11) but will not be possible as Raila is on a tour of the Coastal region.
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Speaking to the press at Serena Hotel in Nairobi where the interviews took place, former Kwanza MP Noah Wekesa, who is the chairman of the seven-member panel tasked with choosing a candidate for the prized position, said the panel had already drafted a press statement with the view of presenting their report on the matter to the former prime minister.
However, Wekesa noted that he was informed on the morning of the presentation that Raila was out of the city.
“Little did we know that in fact, our party leader would be out of town. I only received this information this morning that he is out of town and our press statement was prepared in view of the fact that we were at the same time going to present the report to our party leader,” he said.
Wekesa however added that Raila had given the panel assurance that he would be in the capital the following day and that a time and venue for the presentation of their report would be communicated in advance.
“He has assured us that he will be here tomorrow, so I am requesting you kindly to be here tomorrow…we are going to be very specific, we will call each and one of you to give you the time and the venue of the presentation of our report,” he added.
The matter of Raila’s running mate has left the country and the political circles holding their breath ahead of Raila’s announcement of who would deputise him to battle Deputy President William Ruto and his running mate in the August 9 general elections.
10 out of the 11 candidates were interviewed for the post, the lone exception being KANU chairman Gideon Moi who withdrew his name because it was submitted without his permission. Moi had dropped his own bid for the Deputy President role after he did not turn up for the interviews on Monday, May 9, opting to endorse Kalonzo for the position.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, NARC Kenya leader Martha Karua, former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth, Agriculture CS Peter Munya, former Emgwen MP Stephen Tarus and NARC leader Charity Ngilu were interviewed for the role as well as Governors Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru) and Murang’a Women Representative Sabina Chege.
Kalonzo had softened his hard stance on the interviews and decided to attend them out of a risk of being excluded from consideration.
“The decision to come was my own because I realized we (Wiper) did not want to give anybody an excuse whatsoever to say we refused to come. I am here and I can tell you it was a wonderful conversation.
“Leaders such as Bishop Njenga, Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth, I looked at that and said why wouldn’t I want to go greet Archbishop Okoth at his age?” he posed.