Orange party leaders yesterday vowed to teach Deputy President William Ruto a lesson in the Msambweni by-election slated for December 15.
The leaders who had escorted party candidate Omar Boga to get clearance from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), said they could not afford to let a candidate supported by Ruto capture the seat that fell vacant after the death of Suleiman Dori as this could scuttle ODM’s plan to win the presidency in 2022.
The leaders present were deputy party leader and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, his Tana River counterpart Dhadho Godhana, Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, Siaya Senator James Orengo and Kwale’s Issa Boy.
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Others were Kwale ODM chair Hassan Mwanyoha, vice chair Nicholas Zani, Likoni MP Mishi Mboko, Jomvu’s Badi Twalib and several local MCAs and party officials.
The Ruto team has sponsored Feisal Bader who was cleared by the IEBC on Thursday to run as an independent candidate.
Addressing party supporters and residents after Boga was handed the certificate by election officials, Joho said he will campaign in the constituency together with his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi, Taita Taveta’s Granton Samboja and Godhana to ensure ODM reclaimed the seat.
“Godhana, Kingi, Samboja and I are going to rent a house and camp in Msambweni until we deliver the seat to ODM,” Joho said.
He warned that the DP and his team will ‘see dust’ in Msambweni just like it happened in the Kibra by-election. “We know the DP’s aim is to scuttle our 2022 plan to win the presidency. Let me tell him that he will see dust in this by-election. We are here to give Msambweni people a leader they deserve,” Joho said.
Governor Godhana said ODM leaders were in Msambweni to reclaim their territory and asked challengers to prepare for a political battle of their lives. “ODM has a big arm. We are here to reclaim our territory,” he said.
Orengo told Ruto to resign from his position as deputy president as “he has shown disrespect to the president by challenging him.”
“The DP has shown no respect to the president and he should quit. He cannot contradict the president and remain in office,” Orengo said.
He said they were determined to beat the Tangatanga team and prove the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila was stronger and ready for any political challenge. Junet described Msambweni as an ODM fort and told the DP that he had no chance of winning through a proxy after his Jubilee Party decided not to field a candidate.
He claimed the DP was using “political losers” such as former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar to try to grab the Msambweni seat. “This is an ODM fort. The DP has no business fronting a candidate against the interests of his party. We are ready to face them just like in Kibra,” he said.
Boy said Kwale, just like in 2017, is still an ODM zone and told both the DP and his main ally in the region, Governor Salim Mvurya of Kwale that they were in for a big shock.
Mvurya this week visited Dori’s home area in Kinondo and declared support for Bader.
Boga said his campaign agenda is addressing the land question and ensuring the settlement of squatters, fostering cohesion, youth and women empowerment and education.