, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22 – NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22 – Presidential contender Musalia Mudavadi of the Amani Coalition has named outgoing Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni his running mate for the March 4 general election.
Mudavadi says he arrived at the decision after painstaking reflection from an initial list of 100 people and that his choice was not influenced by tribe and politics of numbers.
“I took a deliberately long time to name my running mate; I widely consulted extensively in my selection… there were many options and I am certain to disappoint many others who felt that they were qualified,” Mudavadi said.
“I was looking for a soul-mate for the Amani Coalition and Kenyans. I refused to apportion the running mate post to politics of the day-ethnicity,” said the DPM.
“My running mate has displayed the ability to lead, he has always respected and fought for the rule of law, has been an example to many leaders in the country and has the interest of Kenyans at heart.”
Kioni, while accepting his nomination, said he was equal to the task of deputising Mudavadi as they seek the mandate to effect reform in the country.
“Kenya as a country must rise up. It must loosen from the web of corruption, tribalism, nepotism, and abuse of the law,” added Kioni.
“We must create a country that displays equality and cohesion. We have to create a country that is free of abuse of human rights.”
He said that he had come to love the Mudavadi brand as a leader who is humble, non-tribal in his approach to national issues and committed to development.
“What has stopped us from confronting our challenges is not the absence of policies or sensible plans but the failure of committed leadership, the smallness of our politics and the ease with which we are distracted by the petty and the trivial,” he said in his acceptance speech.
Coalition partners Gideon Moi of KANU and Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eugene Wamalwa of New Ford Kenya said they were confident that Kioni is committed to ensure that the will of the Kenyan people is done.
They said with the long waited naming of the deputy presidential nominee, the coalition line up is finally complete and will now move to popularise the ticket starting with a political rally in Bomet County.
“We have said in KANU and that is what we propagate to the people of Kenya that Musalia Mudavadi is safe pair of hands to guide this country in this transition we are going through in the next five years and its absolutely perfect and in order that the deputy president too is a safe pair of hands he is absolutely capable of steering this country in the absence of the president,” said the son of former president Daniel arap Moi.
“He is trustworthy man and he is man of integrity. He is a family man and a man of deep, deep faith and that is a person you need, a person of immense character,” Gideon added.
Kioni was born in 1964, the seventh in a family of 10. He is married to Margaret Mwonori with whom he they have two sons and a daughter.
The outgoing Ndaragwa MP has a Bachelor of Arts (Land Economics), a Bachelor of Laws and a Master of Arts (Projection Administration) from the University of Nairobi.
Within the Parliament, Kioni is known among his colleagues and staff as being a soft spoken, principled and incorruptible person, qualities that saw him serve as the chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Unlawful Gangs and also served as a member of the House Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations and House Rules Committee and the now defunct PSC on the Constitution.
He also served as the Deputy Government chief whip having been elected to Parliament under a PNU ticket (which is one of the coalition partners in the Grand Coalition Government)
The outgoing Ndaragwa MP’s claim to fame came after he sponsored a Motion in Parliament to compel the Government to abolish the KCPE from the education cycle and instead provide a continuous, uninterrupted education system from class one to form four in order to accord all Kenyan students universal basic education. The Motion was rejected by Parliament.
He also called for the abolition of the Senate.