Dozen aspirants race to fill the Kahawa Wendani seat
The race for the Kahawa Wendani ward by-election has attracted 12 aspirants with nominations for the Jubilee party slotted for Tuesday next week.
The seat fell vacant following the mysterious death of the area Member of County Assembly(MCA) Cyrus Omondi alias Gearbox, while on official duty in India on February 12 this year.
Out of the twelve aspirants, eleven are eyeing the Jubilee ticket including a brother to the deceased, Kevin Ochieng, and one of them Hellen Kiragu will be vying independently.
Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has decided not to field a candidate for the Kahawa Wendani seat and will instead back whoever wins the Jubilee nomination.
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Speaking separately, the aspirants called for free and fair nominations and pledged to support whoever wins the Jubilee nomination. They also warned the party leadership against imposing any candidate on the people.
Among those seeking the Jubilee ticket are Rose Karimi who contested and lost to Omondi in the 2017 elections, milk distributor and community leader Samuel Kimani Mboshe, business woman Margaret Wanjiku, clergyman Bernard Kariuki and Ochieng, a Moi University procurement graduate.
Ochieng said he was not looking for sympathy votes as some of his opponents claimed and pledged to follow in his brother's footsteps.
"I will not let the people of Kahawa Wendani down. Although it is my first attempt to vie for a political seat I have previously been in leadership positions in school and university," he said.
Mboshe on his part said the area has been neglected since the demise of Omondi who was elected on a Jubilee ticket and vowed to unite the residents in development if elected.
“I was born and brought up in Kahawa Wendani and I know the issues and problems facing the area. If elected I will unite the residents and work towards realizing the legacy of our fallen brother Omondi," Mboshe said.
Ms Karimi and Ms Wanjiku asked Wendani voters to give a woman a chance to lead them and called for a free and fair nomination exercise.
“We want the party to give voters a free hand to exercise their democratic rights. Previous nominations have been messed up through rigging by greedy party officials against the will of the people,” Ms Karimi said.
Ms Kiragu said she was eyeing the Kenya African National Union ticket but the party, like ODM decided not to field a candidate, prompting her to vie as an independent candidate.
Kariuki said the area has lagged behind since the death of Omondi eight months ago for lack of representation. He said the ward deserves compensation in terms of allocation of resources.
Omondi, popularly known as ‘Gearbox’ died early this year, occasioning the by-election that takes place on December 15.