Kibra poll to widen Jubilee Party split
By Oscar Obonyo
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) Disputes Resolution Committee is today expected to make a ruling on McDonald Mariga’s eligibility to participate in the Kibra by-election.
The ruling – either way – could further divide the ruling Jubilee Party.
Already, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party is facing the election a divided house, and if the sentiments of Nominated MP Maina Kamanda are anything to go by, then Jubilee will crawl out of Kibra badly bruised.
“Those among us who are supportive of the Handshake gesture between the President and Raila Odinga, will throw our weight behind ODM’s Imran Okoth irrespective of whether a Jubilee candidate will be on the ballot,” Kamanda told People Daily.
According to Kamanda, the de-facto leader of Kieleweke wing of Jubilee, Imran is regarded as the Handshake candidate by Jubilee politicians who are allied to President Kenyatta.
Some Tanga Tanga allied MPs have hinted to People Daily they will back “a stranger” in the event Mariga’s petition flops. The candidate of choice, according to this group which is allied to Deputy President William Ruto, is Eliud Owalo of Amani National Congress (ANC).
“If we are totally barred from fielding a candidate, we will have no option but back a candidate from another party other than ODM. Our goal in this race is simple and clear – to humiliate Raila’s candidate,” said the legislator, who requested anonymity.
The choice of Owalo, explains the first-term MP from Central Kenya, is persuaded by two factors.
First, that a win for Owalo, Raila’s campaign manager in the 2013 election, would serve as a political lesson to the former premier by his ex-staffer and secondly, it would be a success story of rebellion by a Luo politician.