ODM raring to go as Mariga awaits fate tomorrow

Bernard Imran Okoth after being presented nomination certificate at ODM offices. [David Gichuru, Standard]
Former footballer McDonald Mariga will know the fate on his Kibra by-election candidature tomorrow, as ODM ramps up its arsenal for an offensive to recapture the vacant seat.

Jubilee Party will be hopeful that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Disputes Resolution Tribunal will rule in favour of their candidate in a contest that will be an assault on the base of Opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Should IEBC uphold its decision to lock Mariga out, it will leave ODM candidate Benard Okoth alias Imran and Amani National Congress’ Eliud Owalo as the favourites in a crowded race that features 21 other candidates. Sixteen are political party candidates while seven are independent candidates.

As Jubilee battles at IEBC, ODM has said it will embark on door-to-door campaigns and hold a series of public rallies to woo votes for Imran.

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Elaborate plan

According to ODM’s Secretary General Edwin Sifuna, the party has laid out an elaborate plan that will guarantee their man the win.

“We are not going to take chances. We must marshal strength, resources and energy to win and reclaim the Kibra Parliamentary seat,’’ said Sifuna in an interview with the Sunday Standard.

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Sifuna said the by-election will focus on issues close to the hearts of Kibra voters and that they will not be cowed by who they will face in the race.

The by-election will be held on November 7. The seat fell vacant following the death of MP Ken Okoth on July 26.

SEE ALSO :Handshake test and battle of celebrities as Kibra decides

Earlier in the week, ODM moved to stem fallout from the nomination after Peter Orero filed a complaint at the party’s dispute tribunal challenging Imran’s win. The ODM candidate is a brother of the late Okoth.

Imran won the party ticket with 4,382 votes while Orero emerged second with 1,218 votes but protested the exercise had not been fair.

Party leader Raila Odinga spent Monday holed up in a meeting with aspirants at Orange House in what sources say was to convince the losers to join hands with Imran.

“Members agreed the nomination had been without incident and repeating it would be expensive and could come with the possibility of chaos,” said a source. 

ANC Secretary General Barack Muluka said they will give teir rivals a run for their money. “We want to take Kibra by storm,’’ he said. [Kepher Otieno]

SEE ALSO :Oliech, Mariga fuel Kenyan sports stars’ thirst for politics

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