Karua sure bet for Raila? Experts have their say
News of Martha Karua’s nomination as Raila Odinga’s running mate has been received with mixed reactions from political analysts.
According to renowned political analyst, Herman Manyora, the appointment of Narc Kenya party leader is a game changer in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s succession contest.
“She is a brave woman with immense political popularity. This is a game changer. For this, Mr Odinga will get votes in every part of the country,” said Manyora.
He also said Ms Karua’s appointment stands to benefit women in national politics with more appointments in senior positions in government guaranteed, should Mr Odinga be elected president.
Lawyer Javas Bigambo, however, holds a different view. Mr Bigambo says that although Ms Karua’s appointment is historic, her support base is not as solid as that of Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, who has since quit Odinga’s camp and launched his presidential bid.
“When Karua ran for the top seat in the 2013 general election, she only managed to get 43,881 votes and emerged number six,” said Mr Bigambo.
He also pointed out that Karua’s nomination does not guarantee Mr Odinga women’s vote.
“In 2013 Karua did not receive an overwhelming support from women. This might also be the case in the forthcoming election,” he said.
Mr Bigambo further argued that Mr Odinga risks losing the polls if he focuses so much on the gender issue at the expense of economic agenda which seems to be a key issue in this year’s election.
“We understand that the issue of gender is important but Kenyans want to see economic change. The cost of living has been rising and people are looking for a leader who will bring change and uplift them economically,” said Mr Bigambo.
On the other hand, political analyst Prof Gitile Naituli of Multimedia University said Ms Karua’s nomination is purely meant to woo voters in the Mt Kenya region.
“Mr Odinga made the appointment to persuade Mt Kenya voters to support him,” said Prof Naituli.