The former Justice minister is set to announce her bid to clinch the top seat come the next General Election, due in 2012, at the National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi.
Ms Karua has distinguished herself as a human rights campaigner and a vocal anti-graft crusader especially in parliamentary debates.
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Ms Karua has also distanced herself from ethnic political alliances and has refused to play second fiddle to Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta in central Kenya politics. She is on record saying that the era of political dynasty is gone and Kenyans should be allowed to elect leaders based on choice.
With the launch, the Gichugu MP will become only the third woman to vie for the presidency in Kenyan history. In 1997, Water minister Charity Ngilu and environmentalist Wangari Maathai endured unsuccessful presidential bids.
NARC-K, the party now led by Martha Karua, has issued a public warning about powerful forces scheming to derail reforms under the proposed new constitution. As when she raised the alarm some months ago about bribery in parliament she has not named names. Karua, having fronted for the PNU hardliners in the Annan-led “mediation” following the 2007 elections and served as Kibaki’s first Justice Minister, has been on the inside, has been around quite a while, and is recognized as a sharp lawyer.
It certainly seems that the announced High Court ruling on the 2004 challenge to the Khadi’s courts is being widely viewed as transparently political in timing. Likewise the investigation into the insertion of “national security” as a general qualifier of individual rights under the proposed Bill of Rights at the Government Printing Office has not been resourced seriously, has stayed away from people in power and extended in duration, seemingly set up to fade into the distance as such investigations normally do.
Credibility of the voting and counting in the referendum on August 4 may well be at issue, and handling this correctly and transparently will be vital for Kenya’s future. I hope that we in the United States are doing a good job with our support for the IIEC especially.