Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition party presidential running mate Ms Martha Karua on Wednesday took their campaigns to Bungoma in Western Kenya where she rallied women voters in the county to vote for the coalition in next week’s General Election.
Noting it was time for women to shine, Ms Karua said it was only in Azimio-One Kenya that women interests will be catered for, should Mr Raila Odinga and herself ascend to power.
She spoke at Nzoia sugar factory Guest House in Kanduyi constituency where she met more than 500 women drawn from the nine constituencies in the county.
Her visit comes just a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta visited Nzoia Sugary Company and announced a Sh500 million bailout that will help the firm pay arrears it owes farmers and workers.
Ms Karua, who was accompanied by former United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNACTAD) Secretary General Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati, Sirisia MP John Waluke and Bungoma Deputy Governor Charles Ngome, promised that she will not overshadow her boss Mr Odinga should they assume office.
“You have seen some of those who want to be elected and the way they have been naughty to their bosses. I will not do such when you elect us because the country can’t have two presidents at the same time,” she said.
The former Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister said Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga had respected and recognised women by appointing her to the second top most office in the country as his running mate.
Ms Karua said women had suffered a lot and that time has come for them to shine through the office of the Deputy President.
“For a very long time we have seen women being left behind in senior government positions, especially in counties like Bungoma where male chauvinism remains high. We want to break this cycle,” she said.
She said women have been contesting various elective seats but the only person who saw the need to have one of them at the top was Mr Odinga, and women should actualize it by voting for them next Tuesday.
“I tried to vie for presidency before. My sister Charity Ngilu also tried, but we were not close to victory and right now we are almost there and as women we are proud of that,” she said.
“Raila has done his bit by appointing me as his running mate. It is now your duty to ensure we are elected to the country’s top office,” she said.
She urged the women to convince their husbands to elect Mr Odinga as Kenya’s next president, noting that women are good managers and can’t be involved in corruption.
“When we are elected in office, all the problems facing the women of Kenya, including community problems will be solved,” she said.
Ms Karua further stated that only Azimio had promised free education and medical care to Kenyans when it forms the next government.
“Others are imitating us but they are not saying how they will do. We in Azimio, education will be free from nursery, primary, secondary, tertiary and university and we shall also provide Baba Care to cater for medical bills,” she said.
She said Mr Odinga was better placed to lead the country as his track record is known as he had participated in liberating the country from one party state.
Dr Mukhisa asked the women in Bungoma not to elect leaders who abuse office.
“You have seen how some leaders abuse others calling them women. That is totally demeaning and you should not elect such leaders” said Dr Kituyi.