For a couple of months now, it has been uncertain among many Kenyans on who the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga would settle on as his running mate.
Sometimes, many anticipated of Peter Kenneth as most suitable. Later we had Martha Karua coming on board, then elsewhere people thought of Kalonzo Musyoka, and then Charity Ngilu, Kiunjuri of Nakuru, and now the Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho.
On Wednesday, the Azimio Council secretary-general Junet Mohamed read out the names of a seven-member panel that is tasked to choose a running mate for Raila Odinga, ahead of the August general elections.
The panel is tasked to scrutinize the candidates who have already shown interest in that position, alongside the public opinion, among other factors, so as the best candidate is settled on.
Already the dates for when last we expect the coalition to announce their running mate has been set, which is 10th of May. This complies with the directive of Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati, who on Tuesday said that the deadline for submitting names of running mates to all coalitions should be on May 16.
Within the panel, both the clergy and representatives of political parties are represented.
The seven-bench panel members
I) Bishop Peter Njenga,
II) Archbishop Zaccheus Okoth,
III) Senator Enock Wambua,
IV) Michael Orwa,
VI) Sheik Mohammed Khalifa
VII) Beatrice Moe,
Junet further noted that among the key pillars of the panel includes reaching its decision through consensus. The chairman will be elected during its first meeting. The secretary of the panel shall be Ms Elizabeth Meyo.
Initially, the deadline for submission of names viable as running mates by all parties and/or coalitions was set for Thursday, April 28. This was before it was pushed forward to May 16.
On 21st April, the Azimio One Kenya alliance’s top organ said it had tasked the advisory panel to recommend possible persons for the second-highest position.
Even so, the wiper party has been insisting on why their party leader should be the one viable for the position. They even indicated that without Kalonzo as the deputy president to Raila Odinga, the Azimio One Kenya Allliance has no meaning.
Kalonzo himself has indirectly threatened to withdraw from Raila support if he is left out by the vetting panel.