KANU party chairman Gideon Moi will not be appearing before the Azimio Running mate Selection panel that is searching for a candidate to be Raila Odinga’s deputy in the August presidential election.
In a statement issued on Monday, KANU’s Secretary for Political Affairs Fredrick Okang’o said Moi will not be appearing before the 7-member team on Monday as expected, but would instead back Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.
“Our national Chairman Gideon Moi was shortlisted to appear before the panel. We have received instructions that he will not be appearing before this panel because he had written a letter in which KANU endorsed Kalonzo Musyoka,” Okang’o told journalists on Monday at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi where the candidates were meeting the panel.
“While Senator Gideon Moi is suitable and capable to be the running mate of Odinga, on this one he will not be appearing. He has ceded his nomination to endorse Kalonzo Musyoka,” he added.
The announcement follows last week’s formal endorsement of Kalonzo’s quest by KANU, which seemed to cause friction within the Moi-led outfit as the party still wrote to the selection panel nominating him even after backing Kalonzo.
Moi has since confirmed that he had opted out of the race in favour of Kalonzo.
“The party, position still holds. Consequently. by virtue of this official position my presence in the engagement session scheduled for Monday, 9th May 2022 would be of no additional value,” said Moi in a statement.
Candidates being considered for the deputy president’s post under an Odinga presidency started appearing before the panel from Wednesday, May 4 and the exercise concludes on Tuesday, May 10.
So far, the selection panel has shortlisted several candidates from a list of 20 applicants, among them Musyoka, Sabina Chege (Jubilee Party), Martha Karua (NARC Kenya), Charity Ngilu (NARC), Peter Kenneth (Jubilee Party) Gideon Moi (KANU) Ali Hassan Joho (ODM) and Stephen Tarus (National Liberal Party).
Others are Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, deputy ODM leader Wyicliffe Oparanya and Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui.
Kalonzo had, however, dismissed it as “demeaning”, arguing that he should be an obvious pick for the position.