I did not declare my support for Uhuru in 2017 – Martha Karua

Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua has dismissed reports that she would support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election in the next year’s polls.

Speaking on Citizen TV’s Cheche Show on Wednesday, November 16, the former Gichugu MP said she did not declare her backing of any presidential candidate in the 2017 elections saying that her pronouncement less than a fortnight ago was a reflection of the stand of Narc Kenya, Kirinyaga Branch.

Karua said the perception that she would support President Kenyatta in 2017 is a misinterpretation of the media noting that, just like other Kenyans, her decision on who she will vote for is secret.

“We need to uphold the secrecy of the ballot as a means to build our democracy. Just like other Kenyans, my choice for the next elections is secret.”

“The reports about my support for Uhuru are just an interpretation of the media because my pronouncement in Kirinyaga was an echo of the decision by the county’s Narc Kenya branch to support Uhuru Kenyatta in the next election,” she said.

She said that her decision not to make public who she will support in the next elections is advised by her willingness to allow other Narc Kenya branches in the 30 counties that the party has presence to choose a candidate of their own.

“Many branches in the Mount Kenya area have said they will back Uhuru, and I respect their choice. But I still hold that each branch in the 30 counties that Narc Kenya has presence in should choose whoever they want to support in the presidential race.”

She remarked that, though Narc Kenya will not have a presidential candidate, it will not fold up and join any coalition.

“We need to allow our political parties to grow and as democracy matures, we will see fewer parties,” she said.

“We have made a decision that as we seek to grow as a party, we will not field a presidential candidate though we will have candidates in all other elective posts.”

This, and her open opposition for six-piece voting, she said, is advised by her willingness to give Kenyans freewill to choose whoever they want.

“I am totally opposed to six-piece voting because it makes people choose leaders who are less qualified to serve just because they belong to a certain party.”

Despite some of her party branches supporting President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ms Karua said she will still stand against perceived ills in Jubilee government and speak out against issues that affect Kenyans.

“Even when I was a Cabinet Minister in President Mwai Kibaki’s government, I spoke out against issues of national importance and that will not stop. This is important because if we don’t, people will not get the service they deserve.”

On her interest in Kirinyaga governorship seat, the former minister said she does not perceive her decision not to give another shot at the presidency as downgrading adding that she is motivate by the need to serve the people in a county-level.

“Being a governor is an opportunity to serve the people at the county level and ensure effective delivery of services to the people.”

“I am still consulting the people of Kirinyaga to come up with an inclusive manifesto though some of the key areas that I intend to focus on are health, infrastructure, agriculture, and education,” said the 2013 presidential candidate.

The Narc Kenya leader, who has been working closely with CORD leader Raila Odinga since after the last election, was said to have voiced her support for Uhuru in a bid to gain political goodwill from the Mr Kenyatta as she prepares for a grueling face-off with former Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru who will be vying on a Jubilee ticket for Kirinyaga seat.

While some Jubilee legislators welcomed her move, CORD members including Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale downplayed the significance of her “departure” saying she was not bringing any votes to CORD.

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