Rebuttal: Wiper fingers ODM over Embakasi South seat

ODM’s Ishrad Sumra at a past event. His party has asked Nasa affiliate parties to forgo the Embakasi South by-election and support him, a position opposed by Wiper. [File, Standard]
Two WIPER leaders have rebuked in strong terms the assertion by a section of ODM leadership that all NASA affiliate parties should keep off the Embakasi South by-elections and instead back their party candidate Ishrad Sumra.

ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna, while accompanied by Makadara MP Hon. George Aladwa and Ruaraka MP Hon. TJ Kajwang were quoted last weekend saying that the affiliate parties should forgo the Embakasi South parliamentary seat and instead back Irshad Sumra, warning that ODM would ‘humiliate’ any other candidate from the coalition.

The leaders also claimed that NASA - comprising of ODM, Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper, Senator Moses Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya and Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC, died a year ago.

Sifuna said NASA died immediately after Raila’s mock swearing-in as the People’s President on January 30 last year when other coalition co-principals skipped the event.

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"One cannot say keep off the one and only Wiper seat in Nairobi, when ODM has more than one seat. Mr Sifuna, if anything you should as a NASA comrade get Mr Sumra to stand down for Hon JM Mawathe being the only WDMK candidate representing Wiper in Nairobi County,” Wiper ex-director Henry Rop said.

His sentiments were echoed by Wiper's Embakasi East parliamentary candidate in 2017 election Fred Musau. He termed Sifuna's comments as reckless, juvenile and extremely disrespectful to Wiper supporters in Nairobi.

"I wonder how ODM has managed to put up with Sifuna’s childishness’ and pettiness. He is always puffing his light political significance ahead of himself and has even occasionally dared to contradict his party leader on serious issues regarding the coalition," he said.

Musau who also coordinates activities of Wiper and NASA diaspora supporters in Nairobi said Mawathe deserves to be re-elected to finish on the good job he has done for his constituents. He said NASA leadership should not have, in the first place, entertained this ‘court process’ interruption.

"To compensate for the support WIPER gave their candidates in Mathare, Ruaraka, Makadara, Embakasi East & Dagorreti North seats where Wiper withdrew their candidates and supported ODM’s, Sumra should be asked to withdraw from the contest and pave way for Hon.Mawathe’s re-election," he added.

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On Friday, Jubilee announced that it will not field a candidate in the by-election in the spirit of the newfound relationship between it and NASA.

Wiper argues it opted not to field candidates in other Nairobi constituencies- like Makadara- with the understanding that this decision will also be reciprocated by NASA affiliates.

ODM partyWiper partyEmbakasi South by-electionsIrshad Sumra