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Ruto calls three rival aspirants, to settle on one

POLITICS
By Patrick Beja | October 13th 2020

Politicians allied to Deputy President William Ruto led by former Machakos Senator Johnston Muthama [centre] arrive at Diani in South Coast. Ruto allies will support one candidate to face ODM candidate Omar Boga in Msambweni by-election. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto is believed to have summoned three feuding aspirants for the Msambweni by-election to his office in Nairobi between today and Thursday for consultations.

This even as he intensifies the search for a single candidate among them to challenge ODM's Omar Iddi Boga in the December 15 poll.

The Standard has also established that Ruto plans to visit Msambweni on Friday after the search for the candidate is completed.

Ruto is participating in the poll despite Jubilee's withdrawal from the by-election.

"Besides the political visit, Ruto is also set to tour Msambweni constituency on October 16 at the invitation of local imams," revealed a source.

A letter dated September 28, this year and signed by Sheikh Abdallah Mfunga, Kwale County chairman for the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya, invited Ruto for a fundraiser at Bomani village to build the council’s office in the county.

The imams also invited Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, his deputy Fatuma Achani, Lunga Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani, Kassim Tandaza (Matuga) and Benjamin Tayari (Kinango).

Observers say Ruto wants to test his supremacy at the Coast and silence the dominant ODM and its leader Raila Odinga.

Sources within the DP's team said yesterday the three aspirants -- Feisal Bader, Bashir Kilalo and Peter Nzuki -- are set to travel to Nairobi for the consultation.

This was after police stopped a meeting at Diani Reef Hotel on Friday that was intended to reach a consensus on who among the three aspirants the DP should support against Raila’s candidate.

“The three aspirants and a handful of their supporters are set to travel to Nairobi for a consensus forum so that the best one can face ODM,” said the source yesterday.

Diani OCS Zachary Nyawara blocked former senators Johnstone Muthama, Hassan Omar and Boni Khalwale from entering the hotel on Friday, claiming the convenors did not properly serve a notice for the meeting.

Candidates are expected to present their nomination papers to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on October 15. The candidates are seeking to replace MP Suleiman Dori who died on March 9.

Other aspirants include Sharlet Akinyi (independent) and Mahmoud Abdulrahman of Wiper Democratic Movement.

 

[Patrick Beja]

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