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ODM, UDA to battle it out in Kiamokama Ward by-election

By Eric Abuga | March 1st 2021
Kiamokama ward ODM Candidate Malachi Matara (center) joins other party officials in dance at Mogweko, Nyaribari Masaba in Kisii County. Matara will battle it out at the ballot with the other 10 candidates who have been cleared by IEBC to vie for the seat. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party candidate and ODM’s aspirant among other candidates will face off in the Thursday Kiamokama by-election in Kisii.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had cleared 11 candidates for the by-election.

IEBC through the County Returning Officer Dr. Sidney Namulungu had cleared the 11 to vie for the seat that was left vacant following the death of former MCA Kennedy Mainya.  

"We cleared eleven out of thirteen candidates who showed interest to contest for the MCA seat. The nomination exercise was open, peaceful and democratic," said Namulungu adding that candidates have carried out peaceful campaigns.

The candidates include; Malack Mainya (ODM), Peter Birundu (Narc Kenya), Vincent Gekone (Independent), Moses Nyandusi (United Democratic Alliance), Domnic Nyangaresi (Kenya National Congress), Jared Nyaega (Narc), Nyakundi Nyamori (Maendeleo Chap Chap) and Joseph Ouko of Republican Liberty Party.

Others are Stephen Nyakeriga (The New Democrats) and Daniel Ondabu of the Party of Economic Development (PED). Both PED and UDA parties are associated with Deputy President William Ruto. Nyandusi who is running on the UDA ticket has had his campaigns led by Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi, South Mugirango Mp Sylvanus Osoro and Charles Nyacahe.

On the other hand, PED’s candidate Ondabu has the support of former Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director Eng Daniel Manduku.

Ondabu, Nyandusi and ODM’s Matara are leading in the campaigns. Matara says he has the backing of the youths in the coming mini polls.

“Let us not rely too much on individuals who have for years served the Country in different positions. We must be willing to accept new ideas.”

Ondabu, a retired District Commissioner says he is ready to offer leadership to his people. “It is not about age but what I am able to deliver as a leader. This is not about my party or me but what we will be able to achieve in the remaining one year.”

He says he will continue with all development projects that were initiated by his predecessor.

 In the past, UDA candidate has had to serve farmers through their elections as a Director at Kiamokama Tea Factory. He also worked in the Kisii County Government.

Independent candidate Gekone has for years been working as a Civil and Human Rights crusader in Kisii.

In the 2017 general elections Gekone had been cleared to run for Kisii County Senatorial Seat on the People’s Empowerment Party.

Seasoned politicians from the region have not openly declared their support to either of the candidates.

It is not clear which candidate Senator Prof Sam Ongeri was born in the Constituency will be supporting. Kiamokama is among the five wards in Nyaribari Masaba which is home to Prof Ongeri.

Area MP Ezekiel Machogu who is a brother-in-law to Ondabu too has not openly declared his support to any candidate.

Manduku also hails from the same constituency and together with Prof Ongeri and Machogu are all eyeing to succeed Governor James Ogwae in the 2022 polls.

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