Raila picks Karua over Kalonzo for crucial week-long US tour

Raila's team promises an intense campaign period after returning from the US

Azimio La Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga and Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua during a campaign rally in Lodwar, Turkana County on April 03, 2022

Azimio La Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga is set to travel to the United States on Friday, April 22, 2022.

According to a statement from Odinga’s campaign spokesperson Makau Mutua the former PM and his entourage will hold meetings with senior US government officials, senior members of the United States Congress, and key African-American leaders.

He will meet and address Kenyans in the American diaspora and speak to several think tanks. These key meetings will take place in the nation's capital Washington DC. Odinga and his delegation will then travel to San Francisco to meet with leaders and entrepreneurs in the IT and technology space,” reads the communication to media houses.

Interestingly, Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka was left out of the list of the Azimo presidential candidate’s entourage.

According to the official list, Raila will be accompanied by Governors Wycliffe Oparanya, Ndiritu Muriithi, and James Ongwae, Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua, former head of the civil service Dr Sally Kosgei, Senator Moses Kajwang, MP Robert Mbui, Campaign Spokesperson Prof Makau Mutua, former Kenya Ambassador to the US Elkanah Odembo, and several members of the Campaign Secretariat.

Raila's US visit, which will last a week, comes just before what his allies have described as an intense campaign period in the lead up to the historic August 9 elections.

Odinga is no stranger to the US and its leaders. He is an international statesman, a leading pan Africanist, and a leading global figure in the struggle for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

Odinga will take the opportunity of the visit to outline his vision for Kenya, underline the importance of the strategic and historic US / Kenya relationship and the vital interests that the two counties share in the region, promote business partnerships and investment in Kenya in IT and technology, and fellowship with Kenyans abroad,” the statement further reads.

The exclusion of Mr Musyoka from the list is expected to further fuel tension within the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya alliance.

There are sections of the coalition pushing for the Wiper Party leader to be named as Odinga’s running mate.

Another lobby group, lead by the Azimio women caucus has fronted Karua as a better choice for the running mate position.

Presidential candidates have until April 28 to unveil their choices.

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