UDA's Dekow Mohamed wins Garissa Township MP by-election

Dekow Mohamed Barrow receives a certificate from IEC RO Abdi Yunis (left) after being declared winner at Garissa University. [Abdimalik Haji, Standard]

UDA’s Dekow Mohamed Barrow is the winner of the just concluded Garissa Township parliamentary by-election. Dekow clinched the seat after garnering 11,572 votes against UDM’s Nasir Dolal who got 8,158 votes.

The by-election attracted six candidates including Ibrahim Malow of Narc Kenya who garnered 840 votes and ODM’s Abdifaisal Amin (ODM) who got 447 votes. Former Fafi MP Abdikarim Osman of DP got 59 while Muhiadin Abdirashid of DAP-Kenya garnered 20 votes.

The seat fell vacant after President William Ruto appointed CS Aden Duale to the Defence docket in 2022. Duale had served as Garissa Township MP since 2007.

According to IEBC returning officer Abdi Yunis, the by-election was characterized by a low voter turnout. Of the Township's 53,253 registered voters, only 21,218 voters (39.84 per cent) turned up to vote.

Speaking after he was declared winner at Garissa University, Dekow thanked his supporters and the UDA leadership saying they fully supported his bid.

“I take this opportunity to thank Allah and the people of Garissa Township for electing me as their next Mp, I assure the people of Garissa that I will be their voice in and outside the parliament for those who were elected and those who didn’t,” said Dekow.

Dekow also commended IEBC for conducting what he termed as a free, fair and credible election while acknowledging the work of security agencies for keeping order throughout the elections.

“I take this opportunity to thank my party and its leadership, particularly President William Ruto for their strong support during this tough period,” said Dekow, flanked by Fafi UDA MP Salah Yakub and his Ijara counterpart, Abdi Ali Abdi.

While conceding defeat, UDM candidate, Nasir Dolal, congratulated Dekow for the victory and commended the region's political bigwigs for the spirited campaigns noting that the competition was 'friendly fire' as both parties are Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

“I thank the people of Garissa for also coming out and voting peacefully,” said Dekow.

The by-election, according to some analysts, was a litmus test in the supremacy battle between UDM leader Senator Ali Roba and CS Aden Duale.