ODM: Kibra a test run for William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto with Kibra constituency jubilee candidate Macdonald Mariga when he hosted a delegation of grassroots leaders from Kibra constituency and Nairobi county elected leaders yesterday. [DPPS]
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has accused Jubilee Party of fielding footballer McDonald Mariga in the Kibra by-election as a dry run for Deputy President William Ruto’s presidential ambition.

The party said at Joseph Kang’ethe Primary School in Kibra yesterday that the DP was using Kibra to test his clout in the city and had no real intent of ensuring a qualified candidate was elected.

“For ODM, Kibra is not about 2022. We genuinely want a good leader for Kibra and are confident of our candidate. We will not be drawn into that debate,” said Seme MP James Nyikal.

Nyikal was part of legislators, including Millie Odhiambo (Suba North), Anthony Oluoch (Mathare), TJ Kajwang’ (Ruaraka) and ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna who were in Kibra to campaign for ODM candidate Bernard Okoth for the November 7 by-election.

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“If MPs had deputies who would take over when they died in office then in Kibra it would be Ben (Okoth) who would be sworn in because he was his brother’s campaign manager,” said Millie.

Sifuna said the party would demand a copy of the voter’s register, claiming the party was aware that the list was being tampered with.

The statements from ODM come with the mini polls only a month away and candidates have ramped up their campaigns.

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Amani National Coalition’s Eliud Owalo on Thursday visited parts of Line Saba, urging the electorate to focus on issue-based campaigns.

“This contest is between the electorate themselves and not between party leaders. I would wish that the electorate be given an enabling environment to evaluate the track record and capability of the aspirants,” said Owalo.

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He asked his competitors to embrace peaceful campaigns to allow the voters a chance to choose their leader wisely without coercion.

Owalo promised to complete stalled road projects in the area, adding that rural electrification is also paramount to his development agenda for the Kibra people.

Ford Kenya candidate Butichi Khamisi also led his door-to-door campaigns, urging supporters to help him clinch the Kibra seat in the hotly contested race.

“I am requesting you to help me win on November 7, and I will help you from the 8th by presenting your problems in Parliament without fear of political victimisation,” said Butichi.

He promised to create jobs for the youth by reclaiming opportunities that he claimed had been taken up by cartels in the area.

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He took a swipe at ODM and Jubilee candidates for being “puppets of their political lords”.

“I come to you as an individual to look for my own vote, unlike others who come to you but are answerable to higher powers. I don’t want to work for cartels or political parties, but Kibra constituents only,” said Butichi.

The candidates also praised former MP, the late Ken Okoth, for transforming the slum within the short time he served before he succumbed to cancer in late July.

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Jubilee PartyMcDonald MarigaWilliam RutoKibera by-election