Jubilee MCAs in city back Mariga

Jubilee candidate for the Kibra by-election McDonald Mariga. [Standard]

Jubilee Party MCAs in Nairobi have endorsed McDonald Mariga as the party’s candidate in the forthcoming Kibra by-election slated for November 7.

Led by Assembly Majority Leader Abdi Hassan, the MCAs yesterday vowed to ensure Mariga captures the Kibra seat which is considered to be at the heart of ODM politics.

“Going forth, we are going to be conducting door-to-door campaigns in Kibra to make sure that Mariga garners more than enough support to win the Kibra legislative seat,” said Mr Hassan.

While acknowledging the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga, the MCAs said that the by-election was purely a political process and the Jubilee party was not going against the March 9 truce.

“Mariga is the best placed candidate to represent Kibra constituency mainly comprised of the youth. He understands the problems in area and has the backing of the party in implementing his manifesto,” added Hassan.

This, however, throws a spanner in the works following the recent endorsement of ODM’s candidate Imran Okoth by a section of Jubilee MPs.

Last week, former Starehe MP Maina Kamanda and other Jubilee leaders such as Rachael Shebesh and Nairobi County Speaker Beatrice Elachi publicly declared support for Bernard Otieno Okoth alias Imran as their preferred candidate for the Kibra by-election.

The announcement came just days after President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto endorsed Mariga’s candidature at State House in Nairobi.

Nominated MP Maina Kamanda termed Imran as a ‘handshake nominee’ observing that it was his personal choice to support him for the sake of ‘peace’.

“We have fielded a candidate as Jubilee party but as a person I will be with the ODM nominee,” he said, shortly after meeting ODM party leader Raila Odinga.

The Kibra MP seat fell vacant following the death of Ken Okoth on July 26, this year.