Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition Presidential running mate, Martha Karua, has issued a stern warning that the coalition will not tolerate theft of public resources.
Speaking during Maendeleo ya Wanawake Coast region’s 70years’ Anniversary held at the Kenya School of Government(KSG), Mombasa, Karua said the Coalition has demonstrated through its manifesto, their commitment in fighting corruption in the Country.
“This is the only team that can deal with corruption decisively. We shall not spare anyone in our resolve to end wanton plunder of public resources and ensure public money is used to change the lives of the citizenry,” she added.
Addressing women leaders from Mombasa, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Lamu and Tana River counties, Karua said the coalition presidential candidate, Raila Odinga and herself have agreed to ensure public resources are utilized prudently, to better the lives of Kenyans.
“We shall ensure everyone is equal before the law. As the Constitutional and Justice Affairs Cabinet Secretary, I will ensure everything is done within the confine of the law,” she added.
She challenged voters to scrutinize candidates eyeing different elective positions in the country and only elect those with integrity track record.
“We should not only pay a lot of attention to the presidential candidates because an effective system starts from grassroots to the top level,” added Karua.
She hailed Odinga’s decision to nominate her, terming it a clear indication of his desire to have women ascending towards top positions in the country.
“Charity Ngilu and I had contested the presidency in the past but we didn’t make serious strides but this time, we have moved nearer because of Raila’s decision to settle on me,” she added.
Karua challenged women to set aside their political differences and own her candidature.
She also called for issue based politics and peaceful polls and urged women to play a vital role in ensuring peace prevail throughout the electioneering period.
“Our opponent and us are all Kenyans and we shouldn’t be fighting and derail the milestone we have made for decades,” added Karua.
Cabinet Secretary, Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizen Affairs and Special Programmes, Margaret Kobia, said strength of any nation lies with the women.
Kobia hailed the impact of the Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organisation’s towards women empowerment and the wellbeing of the Kenyan society.
“This Organization has indeed supported the government in implementing and coordinating policies on women empowerment in the Country,” added Prof Kobia.
She said the country has moved up to position 95 in the index ranking of gender development, following the Jubilee government appointment of women in key positions.
Prof Kobia also urged women to vote wisely in the forthcoming elections, to ensure their interests are well catered for in the next government.
She hailed Azimio Coalition presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, for picking Karua as his running mate, saying it’s a clear demonstration of his commitment to empower women in the country. “We cannot afford to drop the ball in the strides we have made,” added Prof Kobia.
National Maendeleo ya Wanawake (MYWA) National Chairperson, Rehab Mwikali Mwiu, made a clarion call to her members around the country, to marshal their members to vote for Azimio overwhelmingly.
“Kenyan women will support you unconditionally unlike men who have been joining coalitions,” added Rehab.
She pledged that her Organization will conduct door to door campaigns to popularize Azimio Presidential candidate, Raila Odinga and his running mate Karua.
“We shall move to every corner of this country to rally our women to support the Azimio Coalition presidential candidates, which we Maendeleo ya Wanawake fully endorse,” added Rehab.
She outlined pertinent issues, which she wants the Azimio government to implement for women, including establishment of safe houses to rescue young girls entangled into sex tourism along the Coast.
She said they are concerned with sex exploitation of young women and urged Karua to prioritize their concerns, if Azimio clinch victory in the August 9th elections.
Mwikali further said the next government should also start street children rehabilitation to help get rid of many street families.
“Maendeleo ya Wanawake will also request for quarters during the recruitment of the police and military, so that the rehabilitated girls and boys would be recruited to serve the nation,” she added.
She said the country is also grappling with single parenting due to failed marriages.” We are urging the young families to emulate our older generation in keeping their families together because the nation is built by strong and united families,”
She asked the Azimio government to set up light industries in each County to create jobs and spur economic growth.
Kitui Governor, Charity Ngilu, dismissed the Kenya Kwanza Coalition, saying they have nothing to offer to Kenyan women. “They have been in Jubilee for the last ten years, why didn’t they implement their bottom-up,” she paused.
Ngilu also hailed the giant women organization in the country, saying it served as a catalyst for many women to ascend into active politics.
She called on members to use their network and deliver votes to the Azimio Coalition in the upcoming elections.
Ngilu further stated that with the strong backing of the women population, the Azimio Coalition is best poised to emerge victorious.
“We only need you ( Karua) to do two things for the Kenyan women. First, eradicate the hunger to restore dignity of houses and women. We also need you to deal with the challenge of teen pregnancies, especially in areas like Kilifi, where I witnessed the sorry situation for myself,” Ngilu added.
Kilifi County Woman Representative, Margaret Mbeu, said the Azimio Coalition manifesto contains pertinent issues facing women and assured Karua of overwhelming votes in the Coast region, saying the region has been Odinga’s undisputed political stronghold.
“We don’t want to hear the Kazi ni Kazi slogan. We need serious reforms and proper training and education that will yield jobs and economic growth,'” she added.
Nyeri Deputy Governor, Dr Wanjiru Karugu, told the women in the six Coast counties to rally behind Odinga’s candidature.
Other speakers included State House Spokesperson, Kanze Dena, who also challenged women to take up leadership positions with pride and serve their communities and Kenya at large committedly.