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Uhuru promises Mariga full support in Kibra MP by-election

Wednesday September 18 2019

PSCU
By PSCU
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President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured Jubilee Party's candidate for the Kibra MP by-election of his full support.

President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto met the candidate, former Harambee Stars midfielder McDonald Mariga, at State House in Nairobi on Wednesday.

He wished Mariga, who was accompanied by Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju, success in the contest and assured him of his full backing. 

Among those present were National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale and Jubilee Chief Whip Benjamin Washiali.

CHALLENGES

In the bid to succeed Ken Okoth, who died of cancer in July, Mariga has faced hurdles including questions about his voter registration status.

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The nomination of the Jubilee candidate for the November 7 mini poll was invalidated by the electoral agency last Tuesday because his details were missing from the voters' roll of 2017.

On Monday, however, Wafula Chebukati, chairman of Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), announced that he is eligible to vie for the seat.

Mr Chebukati said the returning officer who blocked the football star did not take into account the updated register from Starehe Constituency.

But now a Jubilee aspirant has moved to the disputes tribunal challenging Mariga's nomination as the party’s flag-bearer.

In a suit filed at the Political Disputes Tribunal on Tuesday, Mr Morris Peter Kinyanjui argued that primaries were not held.

Mr Kinyanjui, who initially took his complaints before a different tribunal and lost, claims due process was not followed in selecting the footballer as the party’s ticket holder.

'READY'

Despite the hurdles, Mariga says he is ready to face candidates including Ken Okoth’s brother, Bernard Otieno Okoth alias Imran, of the Orange Democratic Movement.

After the IEBC announced the decision, the candidate said he was happy and "ready to go".

“I thank God for today's process. The IEBC has done justice. I will now go to Kibra and talk to the people because they are the people with the votes," he said.