Karua backs Uhuru, to vie for governor in Kirinyaga
2013 presidential candidate has been working with Raila
After flirting with the Opposition for three years, Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua yesterday decided that be to elected Governor in Kirinyaga, she must support President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Karua announced she had thrown her weight behind Uhuru’s reelection.
‘”I will not be in the Presidential race. My people know where they want to cast their vote and I am telling them Yes, it is okay to vote me Governor in Narc Kenya and support the President in Jubilee. My supporters have said that they will support Uhuru Kenyatta and I am totally okay with that,’” Karua told reporters in her former Gichugu constituency.
The former Justice minister also said she supported President Uhuru Kenyatta’s fight against corruption.
“President Kenyatta is doing his best to fight corruption and I fully support his endeavours. I will join hands with the President to fight graft in the country. Everyone should back efforts by the Head of State,” she added.
Other than running for President in 2013, Karua has been a strong critic of the government until recently, when she declared she would run for Kirinyaga governor.
Yesterday she said, “The people in this region say they will vote for Uhuru Kenyatta. They should elect him to complete his two terms.”
Her move, which comes only weeks after Peter Kenneth, another former presidential candidate did the same, is seen as strategically aimed at drawing Uhuru’s supporters to her candidature for governor.
Karua’s move also comes only weeks after the President recognised her as a national heroine during this year’s Mashujaa Day.
CHANGE OF HEART
Their change of heart comes a few months after another former presidential candidate, Koigi wa Wamwere, declared he would also support Uhuru.
Koigi, Kenneth and Karua have been seen as Kikuyu rebels who had refused to follow Uhuru’s leadership at the 2013 elections.
Despite having participated in various opposition-led events, Karua denied that she has ever had the intention of joining Cord or any other outfit.
She was part of the Okoa Kenya referendum initiative and was among those pushing for the removal of the IEBC commissioners.
“Narc Kenya has just been friends with the opposition for the sole purpose of fighting the high levels of corruption and nothing beyond that, and those linking myself or our party with the so-called Super Alliance are just engaging in witch-hunting,” she said.
The former Justice Minister also said she was not ready to join Jubilee, saying her party would field candidates for all seats other than for President.
She was speaking at the Kianyaga Catholic Hall in Gichugu constituency, where she was the area MP for four terms, during a Narc Kenya delegates’ conference.
Karua had met the 700 delegates from her party, drawn from all the five wards, to explain her plans for governor as well as Narc Kenya’s strategy for 2017.
“Since our party has offices in most parts of the country, it will field candidates in all the six elective positions, save for the Presidential one, since we will be supporting Kenyatta’s re-election bid, come the August 2017 general election,” she said.
Karua said her interest and focus were to win the Kirinyaga governor position, where she is to faceoff with former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru and the incumbent Joseph Ndathi.
“I’m a workaholic and everyone knows that. Even President Uhuru recognised me during Mashujaa Day as a heroine. I will transform Kirinyaga into an economic hub if elected,” she said.
Karua’s declaration may be the last punch at Waiguru’s candidature and she is increasingly been seen to be rising as JP’s preferred candidate.
Waiguru has spent more time in the last two weeks defending herself against accusations related to the NYS corruption scandal.
This has put her at cross-hairs with several Jubilee legislators after she got embroiled in a war of words with Deputy President William Ruto.
The opposition has been counting on her to boost their image in Central, especially after the exit of ODM MPs from Mt Kenya region.
In August, Karua had told off Jubilee leaders asking them to respect her association with the opposition.
OTHER THAN RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2013, KARUA HAS BEEN A STRONG CRITIC OF THE GOVERNMENT UNTIL RECENTLY
Cord coprincipals Kalonzo Musyoka and Raila Odinga with Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua during a rally in Uhuru Park on September 23 last year