Lobbying for the running mate position in former Prime Minister Raila Odinga camp by politicians from Mt Kenya region is gathering steam with a youth lobby group now challenging those jostling for the position to consider backing one of them, warning that the growing competition among them could jeopardize the campaigns.

Linford Mutembei, the chairman of Mt Kenya Youth Caucus cautioned that the emerging intrigues pitting former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, Governors Ndiritu Muriithi (Laikipia) and Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru) over who should deputies the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) chief was hazardous to the efforts of galvanizing support for the former premier in the region.

Kenneth, Ndiritu and Kinyanjui have emerged among Raila’s key possible running mates, and have intensified their dalliance with him, having severally hosted him while Mutahi, who is reportedly working on launching his presidential bid to advance his fortunes as he eyes the running mate post with supporters engaged in a silent yet vicious war over the post.

According to Mutembei, while the four are able and have the rights to jostle for the position, the former Gatanga MP has better chances since, unlike the rest who are making a debut into national politics, his unsuccessful 2013 presidential bid against President Uhuru Kenyatta gave him a national outlook, and during his tenure as MP he demonstrated that he is a good leader.

“Most leaders have agreed Raila is their presidential candidate, but unless things change, there may be no consensus among the local leaders on who should be his running mate. Everybody is pulling in different directions and this could lead to unwanted sibling rivalry.

Central Kenya should pick someone who has demonstrated ability to lead, and Kenneth meets the cut,” Mutembei told People Daily Digital.

Mutembei further added, “In Mt Kenya East, Raila has secured the support of both Agriculture CS Peter Munya and Governor Kiraitu Murungi and the two aren’t fighting over the roles in Raila camp, the best thing central Kenya should do is pick the best among those seeking the post so that they can make the campaign seamless.”

Newly nominated Senator Ngugi, who is one of the central Kenya leaders backing Raila has described Kenneth as someone who has a national outlook and can be trusted with the running of the country and therefore makes a better candidate for the ODM leader’s running mate post.

“We need someone who will unify people, and as young people, we are saying that Peter Kenneth has outgrown Murang’a, and he should be offered to play a national role. Uhuru is retiring, and once he does that, we will need someone who will be in the kitchen (in government) when the cake is being baked and served,” the youthful senator said.

Kenneth is reportedly enjoying the support of some of Uhuru’s confidants among them Jubilee Vice-chairman David Murathe, nominated MP Maina Kamanda as well as members of the powerful Mount Kenya Foundation chaired by Equity Bank foundation Peter Munga who like the former Gatanga MP hails from Murang’a County while leaders have gang up to insist that the running mate must come from the region.

Popularly referred to by the initials “PK” in the political circles, Kenneth has been accompanying Raila to rallies notably in Nakuru and Laikipia counties also in Meru a fortnight ago when the former PM was hosted by MKF and has received backing from Muran’ga MPs led by Ngugi Nduati (Gatanga), Ruth Mwaniki (Kigumo), Mary Wamaua (Maragua), Peter Kimari (Mathioya) and Muturi Kigano (Kangema) who have insisted that he be considered for the position.

By People Daily

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