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Kibra charged as Ruto, Raila campaign ahead of by-election

Sunday October 27 2019

Raila and Imran in Kibra

ODM leader Raila Odinga with Bernard Imran Okoth, the party's candidate for the Kibra by-election, during a campaign tour on October 27, 2019. PHOTO | EMMANUEL WANSON | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Kibra was politically charged on Sunday, with officials of Jubilee Party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Amani National Congress (ANC) and Ford Kenya campaigning ahead of the by-election on November 7.

Deputy President William Ruto said only Jubilee candidate McDonald Mariga can transform Kibra and promised an end to poverty and violence, and 5,000 affordable houses, a project that he said will see 2.5 million youths employed.

Mr Odinga, leader of the Orange Democratic Movement, campaigned for his party's candidate Bernard Imran Okoth.

He decried land grabbing and high housing costs for residents, saying they have to contend with housing prices that increase every month, driven by cartels living outside Kibra, alongside electricity and water problems.

Reports indicated that Mr Mudavadi (ANC boss) and Ford Kenya candidate Khamisi Butichi encountered challenges during their campaigns.

It was said that residents hurled stones at Mr Mudavadi and some vehicles as he campaigned at Kamukunji grounds and that Mr Butichi had to leave Bukhungu grounds when ODM politicians made a stop.



Regarding housing, Mr Odinga said he spearheaded the slum upgrading programme, with Kibra as the first area to benefit, following what he had seen in Malaysia and Singapore

"It was to provide industries that would [lead to] jobs for youths but it was stopped through court injunctions two years ago," he said.

But he added that they had a blueprint for developing Kibra.

" ... and we will achieve it. Other programmes have flopped as a result of lack of proper planning," he said.

He told the people that a vote for him is a vote for Mr Okoth so they should not embarrass him.

Deputy President William Ruto with McDonald
Deputy President William Ruto with McDonald Mariga, Jubilee Party's candidate for the Kibra by-election, at Lindi grounds in the constituency during campaigns on October 27, 2019 . PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP


In his address tot he rally, ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna said, "Are you going to elect [Lang'ata MP Nixon] Korir or Mariga? Let him concentrate on Lang'ata. How many constituencies does he want to manage?"

In reference to Mr Mariga, who quit football for politics, he also said, "What did he do during his playing career?"

Mr Sifuna further said, "This is our bedroom and we have secured it. Let the process be free and fair and without any underhand tactics.

Regarding the report of the Building Bridges Initiative Taskforce, he said there is no need for jitters as it is yet to be released.


Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said Luhyas will vote for ODM.

He announced that four people who intended to vie for the post withdrew in order to support Mr Okoth. The four are Don Anacelet, Shadrack Omondi, David Ochieng Odanga and Owiti Owayo.

"Three governors are in ODM so which party is for Luhyas? Kakamega is locked, same as Busia and Vihiga," he said.

Rarienda MP Otiende Amollo said "Kibra belongs to ODM".

"Imran will complete his brother's term, which ends in 2022," he said, noting the two worked together on the area's development.

Nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi urged ANC supporters to back the ODM candidate. He said they have just two Luhya leaders from Bungoma and another two from Vihiga.

"Here we have the face of Luhya from all counties in Western," he said.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala said he attended the rally as ANC's "highest-placed leader" and that the resolution is to support Mr Okoth.

Mr Malala claimed that ANC candidate Eliud Owalo is DP Ruto's 'project'.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya addresses
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya addresses ODM supporters during campaigns for Bernard Imran Okoth, its candidate for the Kibra by-election, October 27, 2019. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Former Westlands MP Fred Gumo said Kibra is Mr Odinga's home and that support for Mr Okoth is unwavering.

"We will not vote because money has been splashed. We will support our own even if he is poor," he said. "There are some seats in Nairobi which are reserved for ODM. We cannot allow them to go to the other side."

He said Mr Mariga is "our son" but "he is trying to enter into other people's bedroom, which we will not allow".

"This is a do-or die-affair meant to embarrass Raila and dethrone him from his bedrock. Let us come out on November 7 and stop this."

Makadara MP George Aladwa accused Mr Mudavadi and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula (Ford Kenya) of seeking to divide Luhyas.

"The majority of us are in ODM supporting Imran," he said, adding they will not succeed.

Ford Kenya's Kibra by-election candidate
Ford Kenya's Kibra by-election candidate Butichi Khamisi during campaigns in the constituency on October 27, 2019. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Suna East MP Junet Mohamed said ODM leaders are confident they will win the Kibra seat.

"A failed [former Kakamega Senator Boni] Khalwale is leading Mariga campaigns. How will he convince the people to vote for him?"

Mr Mohamed said they will march to Anniversary Towers, where the offices of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission are if they do not get the list of all presiding officers and clerks before Tuesday.

He added, "This is Raila's bedrock and he is the one to decide who leads in the area. This is not where to test waters to make entry into Nairobi politics. These are not Arror or Kimwarer waters."

Nominated Senator Getrude Musuruve, Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito and politician Steven Mbogo also attended the rally.

A host of Nairobi MCAs led by Makongeni's Peter Imwatok said they will serve as ODM's "super-agents" during the elections.