Azimio Principal Martha Karua refuted claims of an impending separation between herself and coalition leader Raila Odinga.
Speculations about a strained relationship arose when Karua was conspicuously absent from the Kamukunji Rally on Friday, July 7, and the subsequent march to Central Park in Nairobi’s CBD.
In her place, Raila Odinga was accompanied by former Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria, suggesting trouble between the 2022 presidential candidate and his running mate.
Karua addressed these reports, stating that her absence from the capital was due to her simultaneous rally in Kirinyaga. She reiterated that she had initiated the process of collecting signatures to repeal the Finance Act 2023, aligning with Odinga’s expectations.
This clarification put to rest allegations that Raila intended to replace his former running mate with Mwangi wa Iria.
During the mass rally on July 7, the Azimio Coalition adopted a new strategy to exert pressure on President William Ruto’s administration to reduce the cost of living.
Unlike previous practices of hosting a single large rally in Nairobi, coalition leaders held simultaneous rallies nationwide.
While Karua led anti-government protests in Kirinyaga, Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka initiated a signature collection drive in Kathiani, Machakos County. Similarly, Eugene Wamalwa, leader of the Democratic Action Party – Kenya (DAP-K), and George Wajackoya, leader of the Roots party, led demonstrations in the Western region.
Odinga announced that similar protests would be organized throughout the country on Wednesday, July 12.
On Saturday, July 8, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua dismissed the signature collection drive, deeming it a futile endeavor without constitutional support. Gachagua stated that the constitution only permits the removal of a sitting president through an election victory, not through signatures.
Martha Karua vs Mwangi wa Iria?
There is no evidence to suggest that Mwangi wa Iria is intentionally overshadowing Martha Karua in the Azimio camp. While Karua’s absence from a recent rally and Mwangi wa Iria’s presence alongside Raila Odinga sparked speculation, it is important to note that political dynamics can be complex and multifaceted.
It is not uncommon for political leaders to engage with various individuals and groups to build alliances and support. Any assumptions about one individual intentionally blocking another’s shine would be speculative and unsubstantiated.