The Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition presidential running mate Martha Karua defended her decision to quit the late retired president Mwai Kibaki’s cabinet in 2009.
Karua revealed her reasons to quit Kibaki’s government on Tuesday during the deputy presidential candidates debate held at the Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA).
She cited frustrations in discharging her duties as the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister as her reason for quitting.
Karua was responding to Kenya Kwanza Alliance presidential running mate Rigathi Gachagua who questioned her ability to withstand pressure.
“I don’t think it is honourable to be a quitter, I think you must fight from within and pursue what you intended to do. Martha Karua quit President Kibaki’s government when Kibaki needed her; when Kibaki was in trouble, when Raila Odinga was making life impossible for him,” Gachagua said.
In her response, Karua said it was honourable to resign from a government if one’s beliefs are not in tandem with the government’s agenda.
However, she added that despite the difference in ideologies; it was prudent to withdraw from such a situation respectfully with no drama.
In the same breath, Karua took a swipe at Kenya Kwanza presidential flag bearer William Ruto whom he accused of being honest because he continues to enjoy state privileges but does not perform his duties since he fell out with his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“For those who don’t understand principle, they can never envisage resigning. But I do think it is dishonest to continue to take public salary, to take the privilege and all that goes with office, when you know you can no longer deliver because of differences or other things,” Karua said.
“I respectfully withdrew myself by resignation from Mwai Kibaki’s government, no name calling, such that we were able to continue to meet and sit down and talk…I don’t think the same can be said of Gachagua’s principal.”
She added that entertaining disagreement outside government and publicly is disruptive and attributed the failure of the government to tackle corruption to that saying they pull in different directions.