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Raila and Ruto teams face off in final Kibra campaign rallies

POLITICS
By MOSES NYAMORI and Wilfred Ayaga | October 18th 2019

ODM candidate for Kibra by-election Imran Okoth speaks at Kibera DC`S ground yesterday during his campaign rally. [Colins Kweyu, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto and Opposition chief Raila Odinga are set for a major political contest in the Kibra by-election.

The two leaders’ troops are planning to hold separate rallies on the same day in a last-ditch attempt to win the seat.

The two bitter political rivals have separate campaign rallies slotted for the first Sunday of next month to woo the over 100,000 voters to back their respective candidates in the November 7 mini-poll.

Raila will lead ODM troops in a rally at Joseph Kange’the grounds in Woodley on November 3 while Dr Ruto’s team is also considering having a rally in the same area.

Last minute

Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa said Ruto was planning to hold a rally on November 3 to campaign for Kenyan international McDonald Mariga before the campaign period elapses.

The planned rally could, however, be canceled at the last minute following revelations by a Jubilee MP that the outfit was conducting a survey to establish if Ruto’s presence in Kibra might work against their candidate.

Lang’ata MP Nixon Korir said they would advise the DP if it was necessary for him to campaign in Kibra, adding that they were trying to avoid framing the campaign as a contest between Raila and Ruto. Kibra has traditionally backed Raila in what might work against the Jubilee candidate.

“We will only advise him to come if his presence there will add value to our candidate’s popularity. If it is necessary, then we will advise him to come. We don’t want to make the campaigns be a contest between Raila and Ruto,” said Korir.

Korir and Starehe MP Charles Njagua, popularly known as Jaguar, said they also expect President Uhuru Kenyatta to attend the last rally for the ruling party’s candidate.

On the other hand, Makadara MP George Aladwa, who is also the chairperson of ODM campaigns in Kibra, said the former premier will preside over the last campaign rally, which he described as the mother of the outfit’s onslaught in recapturing the seat.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has set Monday, November 4, as the last day for the campaigns ahead of the poll to pick the late Ken Okoth’s successor.

Ruto and Raila have not stepped in Kibra since the campaigns officially kicked off on November 9, raising questions about their campaign strategy.

Canceled rally

Initially, Ruto planned to hold a rally immediately after the party primaries, but hastily cancelled it and resorted to hosting delegations from the slum at his Karen residence.

Raila, on the other hand, was in Kibra for campaigns ahead of the outfit’s primaries. He has, however, used other public events in Nairobi to campaign for Imran Okoth.

ODM leaders exuded confidence the seat was theirs to lose, and there was no need to tire Raila with campaigns.

 

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