NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 28 — Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Martha Karua have moved to stem the sibling rivalry in the coalition over ‘zoning’ of electoral areas among coalition partners.
Odinga and Karua took a break from campaign rallies on Tuesday to chair a follow up Azimio Council meeting after a session on Friday, June 24, that ratified zoning to counter rivalries threatening to tear the coalition apart.
Confusion, chaos and bitter exchange of words have characterized Azimio presidential campaigns after the Azimio council adopted a rationalization plan that compels constituent parties to harmonize candidates in a bid to counter increased sibling rivalries.
The decision reached Friday when Odinga convened a meeting at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi will see Azimio endorse a single candidates in key races.
“We have discussed and approved a strategy to synergize the strength brought by each party to the coalition by rationalizing and harmonizing candidates in all elective positions and mandated each constituent party to implement the strategy,” Junet Mohamed, Azimio Party’s Secretary-General, said following the June 24 meeting.
Even before the Azimio Council released the list of harmonized candidates, Orange Democratic Movement Secretary General Edwin Sifuna traded barbs with Kevin Kioko ‘Bahati’ Jubilee Party’s candidate for the Mathare parliamentary seat in Nairobi over a proposal to withdraw his candidature.
A conflict ensued after Sifuna took to the social media to thank Jubilee Party’s Nairobi Chapter for endorsing Mathare MP Anthony Oluoch (ODM) for the seat.
“Ahsante sana wana Jubilee Nairobi (Thank you very much Jubilee Nairobi) for resolving the Mathare question for us. We now have a candidate. Hio kijana ya kulia lia nitachukua (that boy who cries all the time) apology yake kwa Diana personally,” Sifuna stated.
Bahati took to the social media to respond to Sifuna warning him against dragging his wife Diana into the political debacle.
“Keep your mouth away from mentioning my wife in your cheap politics!!! Have some respect for women,” he said.
“And so because it seems this Sifuna and Shebesh have been paid by my Loosing opponent to Spread Propaganda let me answer them here. First and Foremost You Two Don’t Speak on Behalf of My Party Jubilee. ( I WANT TO CONFIRM THAT I BAHATI KIOKO I AM STILL ON THE BALLOT AS THE NEXT,” Bahati added.
Tension has been palpable in Azimio with police forced to lob teargas during a recent presidential campaign meeting in Marsabit where rivals for various seats clashed.
The chaos blamed on sibling rivalry were also witnessed in Moyale.
The rallies turned out to be a shouting match between the supporters of UPIA Movement leader Ukur Yatani and United Democratic Movement’s Mohamud Ali who is seeking to recapture the county’s top seat for a second term.