Opinion: Azimio finally picked the running mate…

If your cow’s leg is broken, do you strap a plough on it and head to the farm – or do you first get it treated and allow it time to heal?”Marta Karua (2013).

The long await is over in the Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Alliance has picked the running mate for Presidential Candidate Raila Odinga. The alliance has picked the leader of National Rainbow Coalition–Kenya (NARC–Kenya), Marta Karua.

Karua came into this alliance through the participation of the OKA where she was one of the parties involved in that. As the OKA signed an agreement with Azimio la Umoja. Therefore, she came after the inception and on the merits of all the parties in a forged coalition already.

Marta Karua is a seasoned politician. She has been a politician since the 1990s and been in Parliament for years. Been a resilient minister and even stepped down when she felt undermined by the coalition government at the time. Which is ironically when Odinga became the Prime Minister and she served as a part of Kibaki’s government as a minister.

Now, she returns into the hands of Odinga. A man she has fought against and shows there is no permanent enemies in politics. In the 2017 elections she promised to defend the ballots for Kenyatta. So, we just know the wind is changing and she has found a safe-haven for her policies. Where she can have power and be vibrant.

Odinga has gotten someone who has been consistent in the Azimio la Umoja. Someone who can inspire and be different. Even if she has been on the front-lines on the other side of him for years. It is not like Karua always has been a close associate or a comrade for joint causes. No, they have been on the other side. Heck, she was even defiantly against the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). The last big project of Odinga and still he picked her.

That just shows what sort of unity Odinga is seeking. A sort of political programming to ensure broad-based government and have a large unit of political differences within the coalition. She has fought for social justice and human rights. Been a firebrand politician and willingly to step down when the rulers didn’t let her control her office. Therefore, Odinga should know that this politician isn’t the one that bows down and sells out. She has principals and willing to lose for them too.

That’s why she has lost elections and not been in all favours. It is not like she has a winning streak and is genuinely loved. However, the Azimio shows a progression and a will to build something. When you pick someone like her. Because, the coalition had several other bigger leaders and with more influence. Nevertheless, Odinga picked her and the Azimio decided to take this stand.

Baba and Karua is another type of breed. This ticket is vastly different from Kenya Kwanza Alliance and shows the contrast between them. It is now up to the public to see what they do and how they perform. These are two seasoned politicians with massive history. They have been on all sides and fought for political interests over the years. These two haven’t always worked together and at point been enemies. That’s why it’s an interesting choice, but shows the political maturity of Odinga.

Azimio versus KKA gears up. Everything will be in the open and nothing will be disregarded. Old interviews and clips will now haunt her. The same will happen to Odinga. However, today… these to has to show unity and strength together. To show that this is legit and what they believe is the right path for the coalition. Peace.

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