Candidates adopt new campaign tactics in Bonchari trail

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021 00:00 |
Mary Otara.

Candidates fighting for the Bonchari parliamentary seat have embraced social media and door-to-door campaigns to reach out to their supporters after the government banned political rallies to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The candidates are consolidating support in their strongholds to outsmart their rivals to clinch the seat, which fell vacant after the death of area MP John Oyioka.

Progressive Party of Kenya (PPK) candidate, Charles Mogaka said he is targeting youths through social media platforms and visiting homes to meet voters who have no smart phones.

The candidate said the campaign is tough following the ban on political and social gatherings.

“I am using several WhatsApp Groups to reach my supporters. It is good since we share information quickly and take appropriate actions,” Mogaka said.

Last week, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) cleared 13 candidates  in Mary Otara of  the United Green Movement Party, Zebedeo Opore (Jubilee), Pavel Oimeke (ODM), Teresa Bitutu Oroo (United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and Jonah Ondieki of The New Democrats (TND).

Others include Jeremiah Atancha (Agano Party), Paul Matagaro (Mwangaza), Eric Oigo (National Reconstruction Alliance), Victor Omanwa (Party of Economic Democracy),  Teresa Gesare (Maendeleo Chap Chap) and  David Ogega of the Kenya Social Congress.

The candidates are hunting for 52,624 votes spread across the constituency with Bomariba having 9,039 of them, Bogiakumu, 14,338, Bomorenda, 14,532 and Riana 14,715.

Opore, a former area MP, hails from Riana Ward.

Another former area MP Charles Onyancha, who served between 2007 and 2013 on an ODM ticket is not in the race and political activist, Nyabuto Onyambu says he is likely to support Oimeke bag a sizable number of votes from his Bogiakumu clan.

Out of race

He said supporters of John Momanyi who bowed out of the race after ODM leadership nominated Oimeke will vote based on their conscience after Momanyi, who hails from Bomariba Ward left them to make their choices.

“Some wards have more candidates while others have few. So, those with more candidates will share their votes and give advantage to those  with few ones” Onyambu said.  

Meanwhile, Mogaka  says candidates in the race are negotiating to prevail upon the government and the Commission to push the poll from May 18 to April 28.

He said it is difficult to campaign owing to the curfew, adding candidates are unable to get their supporters since they are busy on their farms and businesses and want the elections done quickly to ease the former’s sufferings.

“We are the candidates and therefore there will be no harm for us if the by-election is held on April 28 so that our people can continue with their work without thinking of the campaigns” Mogaka told People Daily on phone yesterday.

He said the candidates’ campaigners were rushing to campaign to beat the curfew deadlines, noting it was hectic campaigning amid Covid 19 pandemic and, therefore it was necessary for the Commission to alter the election date.

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