Jubilee and UDA politics to play out in Mahoo by-election

POLITICS |

The Mahoo seat that has so far attracted five candidates. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) is set to challenge Jubilee Party in the Mahoo ward by-election after nominating Daniel Kimuyu in primaries held last weekend.

Jubilee Party on the other hand has nominated Fundi Banton as its flag bearer for the December 16 by-election.

UDA has former Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu, who has kicked off the campaigns as Ruto's pointman, while Taveta MP Naomi Shaban represents Jubilee in the political duel.

Ruto has been frequenting Taveta at Mata village where he meets hundreds of his supporters.

In December last year, Ruto rocked the Coast political landscape after his preferred candidate Feisal Bader floored ODM’s Omar Boga who was also fronted by Jubilee in the Msambweni by-election in Kwale.

The Mahoo seat has so far attracted five candidates. It fell vacant following the death of Ronald Sagurani who succumbed to Covid-19 in August.

Until his death, Sagurani was the Taita-Taveta county assembly minority leader.

On August 24, Ruto was among hundreds of mourners who attended the former MCA's burial at his Mahoo home.

Local UDA officials say the DP is likely to join in the campaign trail.

A win for the DP in the by-election will be a starting point for his UDA and Hustler movement which he has been popularising his bid to win the 2022 poll.

“I am one of your own and a local person at Mata village. I will be coming all the time to meet my neighbours and village mates,” Ruto told the mourners.

At the weekend, Kimuyu emerged the winner after beating four other aspirants during the primaries.

Kimuyu garnered 913 votes while his closest opponent Leonard Mtawa got 830 votes. Joseph Malenyi was third with 95 votes while Shukri Gure was fourth with 11 votes.

Jubilee Party has already picked Banton, a former Mahoo ward administrator in the former county administration under Mruttu.

Peter Mnene Stada will fly the ODM flag while Kanu picked Trucy Mueni. Former Kiambu governor William Kabogo’s Tujibebe Wakenya nominated Samuel Obuoge as its candidate.

Voters noted they expected a bruising battle between Jubilee and UDA as the area serves as the political base for Mruttu and Taita Taveta woman representative Lydia Haika of UDA and Dr Shaban.

“Dr Shaban comes from Mahoo ward where the by-election will be held and it will be very difficult for other candidates to penetrate and win the seat. Mruttu and Haika also come from the Taveta community and by campaigning for a different candidate other than the one being supported by Dr Shaban, it can be tricky,” claimed a resident.

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