Jubilee, Ford Kenya squabbles will gift us Msambweni seat, PED vows

Newly registered Party of Economic Democracy has hit out at Jubilee and Ford Kenya parties, saying that their continued wrangles will see it clinch the upcoming Msambweni by-election.

The party has said that it will use the upcoming by-election as a launching pad and will field a candidate to replace MP Suleiman Dori who died on March 9.

The by-election had been initially set for June 25 but was postponed indefinitely because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Party of Economic Democracy (PED) Executive Director Benfred Ongeri Obino on Friday said that the current wrangles in both Jubilee and Ford Kenya parties may immensely affect their performance in the oncoming by-elections.

“Ford Kenya, ODM and Jubilee parties have chances of winning the seat but newly formed parties such as ours are better placed to win the by-election because we are going to capitalise on the weaknesses of the big parties,” said Ongeri.

The ruling Jubilee party is currently engaged in supremacy wrangles pitting two factions, actions that have led to President Uhuru Kenyatta conducting a purge to ensure order ahead of the 2022 General elections. The wrangles could drag on till the general elections.

Ford Kenya party is also undergoing a coup which could disrupt the smooth running of the party. The coup has led to the ouster of the party leader Senator Moses Wetangula and political pundits argue this could affect the party’s performance in the forthcoming by-elections. 

Mr Ongeri now says that PED has stepped up its efforts to garner support for the party in both the oncoming Msambweni constituency and Kahawa Wendani ward by-elections.

He said that party officials have been holding meetings in its Nairobi offices to galvanise ways of securing the Msambweni seat.

“We will be unveiling a surprise candidate that will upset the plan of the already established parties. We have confidence that we will taste victory because championing the interests of the youth, women and people enabled differently who have been politically marginalised for way too long,” added Ongeri.

PED interim chairperson Tom Musamali said that the party had conducted an online registration of voters to a tune of two million countrywide

The party has not yet identified its candidates but a party official told The Standard that they are working on the plan to field a strong candidate.

“We have been meaning on a weekly basis to discuss the way forward for our party, we are going to compete for any seat that will come on our way, our main objective is to win as many seats as possible and at the same time provide good leadership,” said Musamali.

He also revealed that the party was conducting campaigns in the Msambweni grass roots in a bid to popularise the party.

Some of the officials spearheading the party’s popularisation agenda include Martin Mutua (vice chair), Enock Ombuna (organising secretary) and Hellen Kanario (secretary general/ Eastern region coordinator).

“We plan to have a regional delegates meeting in the coming days after the Covid-19 pandemic to strategize on how to handle the by-election,” noted Grace Mwashighadi, PED national youth leader and member of the coast region command.

It will however not be smooth sailing for the Party of Economic Democracy since a plethora of ODM candidates are fighting to replace the late Dori, with ODM being a popular party in Kwale County.

In 2017, ODM emerged as the dominant party in Kwale County winning the Msambweni and Kinango Parliamentary seats, the county women representative and senate seats as well as nine out of the 20 MCA position.

Jubilee won the gubernatorial seat through Mvurya and five MCA seats.