President Uhuru’s nod to Martha Karua at Madaraka Day fete

Azimio la Umoja presidential running mate Martha Karua. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta left tongues wagging as he hinted at backing Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential running mate Martha Karua.

Speaking during his last Madaraka Day celebration as Head of State, President Kenyatta rooted for women to get into top leadership, while acknowledging those in his administration.

Although he did not mention Karua’s name while reiterating his commitment to equality and inclusivity of women in leadership, the president made a strong case for the Narc-Kenya party leader.

Uhuru said the fight for inclusivity and the two-thirds gender rule continue, and that Kenyans have a chance of electing a woman to represent them at the national level in August.

“For a long time, women affairs were relegated to the Department of Social Services; where they were grouped with children and persons living with disabilities,” he said.

The president who has openly backed ODM leader Raila Odinga as his preferred successor, indirectly campaigned for Karua as the next second-in-command.

“In August this year, if it is the wish of the electorate, we have a chance of a woman shattering the glass ceiling by assuming the second highest office in our Republic, the Office of Deputy President,” said the Head of State.

He said his administration has fast-tracked promotion of women to leadership in security sector and others previously dominated by men.

“I appointed Fatuma Ahmed as the first woman Major-General of our Defence Forces in 2018. Similarly, the first holder of the constitutional office of Auditor-General was appointed under my administration, Mrs Nancy Gathungu, appointed in 2021, continues to serve the republic in that capacity,” he said.

He also took the opportunity to acknowledge the women who worked in his Cabinet in different capacities.

They included: Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs), Amina Mohamed (Sports, Culture and Heritage), Farida Karoney (Lands and Physical Planning), Margaret Kobia (Public Service, Youth and Gender), Monica Juma (Energy), Betty Maina (Trade and Industrialisation) and Sicily Kariuki (Water, Sanitation and Irrigation).

Further, he urged the next government to include women in the Cabinet. 

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