alexa Mariga, Okoth and Owalo all sure of victory in Kibra by-election - Daily Nation

Mariga, Okoth and Owalo all sure of victory in Kibra by-election

Thursday November 7 2019

Mariga at Kibra by-election

McDonald Mariga, Jubilee Party's candidate for the Kibra by-election, gestures at Lindi Mosque poling centre during the vote on November 7, 2019. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

COLLINS OMULO
By COLLINS OMULO
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SARAH NANJALA
By SARAH NANJALA
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Three top candidates in the Kibra by-election have all expressed confidence that they will emerge winners in the by-election.

The much anticipated vote took place on Thursday, with polling stations closing minutes past 5pm, as announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Twenty three candidates vied for the seat left vacant by the death of MP Ken Okoth, but voter turnout was low.

CONFIDENCE

Jubilee Party's candidate McDonald Mariga said he was "more than confident" he would win the seat which has been in the hands of politician Raila Odinga's party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

“There was tension in the morning but [calm returned]. The presence of police restored normalcy. I am confident of winning but if I lose I will accept the results,” he said.

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Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali echoed his party’s candidate in saying they were sure of a landslide victory.

“I am sure majority of the voters decided Mariga will be their next MP. Our candidate will win by 7pm,” he said.

Kibra voters

Kibra residents queue to vote at Ayany Primary School during the by-election on November 7, 2019. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

'ODM TERRITORY'

ODM, whose candidate is the late Okoth's brother, Bernard Imran Okoth, also said it was sure it would win.

The party's officials said the election process was in line with their projections following an opinion poll.

Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, who is ODM's Director of Elections, told a press briefing at DC grounds in Kibra that their candidate would win.

“Whatever happens, we are sure of a win. We are highlighting that the IEBC was not prepared for the election but we are not doubting whether we will win. We are confident we will win," he said.

“This is our territory. We will shame the devil, which is the IEBC, and Deputy President William Ruto. I am confident we will celebrate [being declared the] bona fide winners."

Imran at Kibra by-election

Bernard Imran Okoth, ODM party's candidate for the Kibra by-election, votes at Old Kibra Primary School on November 7, 2019. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

ODM DATA

Mr Mohamed was accompanied by the candidate, Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang and his Makadara counterpart George Aladwa.

“We have the numbers, we have the figures and we have seen the trend. We are winning this,” said Mr Aladwa.

MP Kajwang, ODM's chief agent in the mini poll, said their data indicated that Mr Okoth had 25 percent of the votes by midday.

He said the figure would likely rise as the day went by.

“Between four and five o'clock, we will see a surge in the voter turnout. We can break the records of previous by-elections,” he said.

Mr Okoth said, “I have exercised my civic right and I am looking for a victory later on.”

Owalo votes in Kibra

ANC's candidate Eliud Owalo votes at Old Kibra Primary School in Kibra, Nairobi, during the by-election on November 7, 2019. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

UNITY

Amani National Congress (ANC) candidate Eliud Owalo said he was "just waiting to be sworn-in as the next Kibra legislator as I see nothing but a victory".

“I will win this. I am ready to work with my rivals going forward,” he said.

Before joining Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC more than a month ago, Mr Owalo was a strong ODM member.