DP Ruto to lead campaign for football star McDonald Mariga in Kibra
Political supremacy battles and muscle flexing ahead of the 2022 State House contest could overshadow the search for the late Ken Okoth’s successor in the Kibra by-election in November.
This was after Deputy President William Ruto made a strategic stop-over in Kibra on his way from Moi Girls High School on Tuesday, and announced he would return on Sunday to drum up support for Jubilee’s candidate MacDonald Mariga.
“ When do you want me to come? When are you available? Sunday? Then they will arrange for me to come on Sunday so that we can talk ( Mnataka nikuje lini? Mko na nafasi lini? Ati Sunday? Basi hawa wapange mimi nikuje Sunday tuongee),” said DP Ruto.
Mariga from the onset was dubbed a Ruto candidate with opinion divided on his transition from the soccer pitch to the political ring.
He got 500 out of 600 marks, to edge out 15 other aspirants in the race for the Jubilee ticket, in interviews conducted by the party’s election board.
ODM party however insists that Kibra is a prime stronghold, dismissing notions of the upcoming by-election as a Ruto vs Raila Odinga duel.
ODM will pick its candidate on Saturday, in a nomination exercise that has attracted 11 contestants all the while terming Mariga’s entry into the race a non-issue.
The Orange Party however has to contend with growing mistrust among its members on the credibility of past nominations.
Two losses in Ugenya and Embakasi South parliamentary by-elections within a year over claims of fielding unpopular candidates informing the conduct of Saturday’s primaries.
“There is no one who has the ticket or is the preferred candidate. We are spending a lot of money for this exercise for printing ballot papers, hire clerks, pay for security…,” said ODM SG Edwin Sifuna.
The party is alive to the potential of rival parties infiltrating the Saturday nomination exercise or violence erupting.
Kibra constituency has 118,276 registered voters in five wards with 180 polling stations.