Former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth’s continued public appearances with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga have triggered speculations that he is being propped by some powerful forces to be the Opposition’s chief’s running mate.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and his Agriculture counterpart Peter Munya, Governors Ndiritu Muriithi (Laikipia) and Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru) are among key politicians who have been linked to the slot with presidential contenders giving strong indications that it will go to Mt Kenya.
On Sunday, Kenneth was the only politician eying the position who accompanied Raila to Legio Maria Church in Makongeni, Nairobi and addressed gatherings during stop overs from the sunroof of ODM leader’s car. During the meetings, he vowed to market Raila in the Mt Kenya region.
Beside the Sunday tour, Kenneth has been part of Raila’s entourage having accompanied him to Nakuru, Laikipia, Meru, Tharaka Nithi and Embu counties for public rallies as well as when the former PM was hosted by Mount Kenya Foundation at a Nairobi hotel last month. Kenneth has also been a constant visitor to Raila’s Karen and Bondo homes.
For Kenneth, enjoys support of some of Uhuru’s confidants among them Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe, Nominated MP Maina Kamanda and members of the powerful Mount Kenya Foundation.
The Murathe-Kamanda group insists that a running mate must come from Murang’a because it has neither produced a President nor a Deputy President despite the significant role it has played in the country’s history.
Nominated Senator Isaac Ngugi, said while every one has a right to eye the position, Kenneth has better credentials based on his past track record.
According to the Senator, Raila should be allowed to pick someone he is comfortable with to avert a repeat of the bad relations between Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto.
“Peter Kenneth is approachable, he has no issues of corruption and his track record as the MP for Gatanga speaks for itself. Again his 2013 bid puts him ahead because he has experience of conducting a presidential campaign. He has also not projected himself as a tribal leader and he is accepted in Mt Kenya region and beyond,” Ngugi said.
He added: “But what is critical is that the presidency under our Constitution is like a marriage. And we would not want a repeat of what is happening between Uhuru and Ruto. Therefore, let no one force Raila to work with certain people, let him be given the free will to select whoever he is comfortable to work with.”
Nakuru County Inter-political Parties Caucus led by Peter Cheruiyot has endorsed former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth for the position of Deputy President.m The parties; Jubilee, Amani National Congress (ANC) and Kanu unanimously agreed to back Kenneth to deputise ODM leader Raila Odinga during next year’s General Election.
But Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria has called on the leading presidential candidates to nominate Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua for the position.
“Whoever is interested in the Mt Kenya vote should pick Martha Karua. She is the senior-most politician from the region having served as a Cabinet minister. Her integrity is not in question. We want someone who is capable of check mating a President and consolidate the gains that have been made and protect the region’s interests,” he noted.
Karua, who has teamed up with Kuria and the Mt Kenya Unity Forum has in the past ruled out working with Deputy President William Ruto. Yesterday, Kenneth was not available for comment but in a recent interview with People Daily he said: “We have not reached the stage yet but if the boss decides to pick me, who am I to turn down such an offer. But for now, we are concentrating on marshalling support for Raila.”
Macharia Munene, a former Professor of History and International Relations at the United States International University (USIU) said while the dalliance between Raila and Kenneth is a political message, Kenneth’s backers should not see it as a “done deal” because the former premier was yet to decide on whom to pick, and he might even pick someone else.
“Raila has not announced his bid yet although it is known he will vie for the top seat. But the ultimate question is what does Raila want? What value will Kenneth and any other person add to his bid? So today Raila can be with PK and someone else tomorrow depending on the circumstances,” he said.
Previously branded a spoiler and betrayer after he contested against Uhuru in 2013, and later together with Karua attracted criticism for working with Raila in push for a referendum in 2014, the former Gatanga MP has since warmed his way to Uhuru’s inner circle. He is part of the group that has been congragating at the home of trade unionist Francis Atwoli to plan succession politics among other national issues.
Nakuru County Inter-political Parties Caucus has endorsed former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth for the position of Deputy President.
The parties; Jubilee, Amani National Congress (ANC) and Kanu unanimously agreed to back Kenneth to deputise ODM leader Raila Odinga during next year’s General Election.
By Citizen Digital