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ODM, Wiper bullish in crowded Embakasi South by-election

Wednesday April 3 2019

Wiper Democratic Movement Leader Kalonzo

Wiper Democratic Movement Leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Ford Kenya Leader Moses Wetangula and Mr Julius Mawathe address the media after he (Mawathe) was cleared by IEBC to vie in the Embakasi South by-election. PHOTO | COURTESY 

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The outcome of Friday’s by-election in Embakasi South Constituency will be a measure of popularity between Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Wiper parties, which are both affiliated to the opposition.

Former MP Julius Mawathe is contesting on a Wiper ticker while ODM is represented by another former MP, Mr Irshad Sumra.

The seat fell vacant after Mr Sumra successfully filed a petition challenging the election of Mr Mawathe.

Mr Sumra had successfully challenged Mr Mawathe's win at the Court of Appeal after High Court Judge Grace Nzioka dismissed his initial petition.

The Wiper MP then appealed at the Supreme Court which ruled that the results declared after the August 8, 2017 elections were unsupported by any evidence.

Mr Mawathe had been declared winner with 33,880 votes against Sumra’s 33,708



Also contesting are Ms Roseline Awino (MTP), Mr Ramesh Gorasia (DP), Mr Urbanas Kalumba (PNU), Mr Augustine Kavindu(GCK), Mr Samuel Masaki (FPK), Mr Zablon Minyonga (KNC) and Mr Alexander Mulatya (MCC).

Others are Mr Jairus Musyoka (GDDP), Mr Enosh Nyakweba (KSC), Mr Angela Nyalita(TAK), Mr Enock Nyaribari (RLP), Mr Peter Ogeta (PDU) and Mr Credius Oigara (JFP).

A closer analysis of the by-election reveals that aspirants who lost in the last election form a majority of the contestants cleared to vie.

According to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Embakasi South has 150,314 registered voters with 221 polling stations.


ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna exuded confidence and even declared that the coalition arrangement that Wiper has been banking on died a year ago.

“There is no Nasa. If there was any reason to sit on a table as brothers, it was the time Mr Sumra went to the court. You don’t wait for someone to go to High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court and you are quiet. Then when he is given an order that Wiper stole his victory you want us to withdraw,” Mr Sifuna told the Nation.

But Wiper on the other hand has vowed to upstage their coalition partner and defend the only parliamentary seat they have in Nairobi.

“The Embakasi-South seat is the only parliamentary position we have in Nairobi County. ODM should have dropped their candidate in favour of Wiper’s in the spirit of their partnership in Nasa,” Wiper Party leader Kalonzo said when Mr Mawathe presented his papers to IEBC.

The withdrawal of the Jubilee candidate and the party’s support for the Wiper candidate added to the by-election’s intrigues in January.

MPs Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Charles Njagua (Starehe), George Theuri (Embakasi West) and Simon Mbugua (East African Legislative Assembly), former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama and Kitui Central MP Makali Mulu said they decided to support Mr Mawathe because their party will not be fielding a candidate in the by-election.