ODM, Ruto battle lines drawn in upcoming Msamweni mini-poll

Monday, October 5th, 2020 00:00 |
Former PM Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto at the Nyayo Stadium. Photo/DPPS

Munira Mandano

Battle lines have been drawn pitting Opposition chief Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto in the Msambweni by-election slated for December 15.

While Raila’s Orange Democratic Movement has nominated former Bongwe-Gombato Ward Rep Omar Boga, Ruto’s allies have thrown their weight behind Feisal Abdallah, who is set to run as an Independent candidate.

Other candidates in the race are Sharlet Akinyi (Independent), Liganje Mwakaoje (United Green Movement) party and Shee Abdulrahman (Wiper) party.

ODM Kwale branch chairman and former Matuga legislator Hassan Mwanyoha has expressed optimism that the party will recapture the seat.

“Raila is expected to visit the region and offer support to our candidate,” said Mwanyoha.

Boga is the younger brother of Agriculture Principal Secretary Hamisi Boga, while Abdallah is cousin and former personal assistant to former MP Mohamed Dori, whose death occasioned the mini-poll. 

Abdallah has denied that he enjoys support from the ‘Tanga Tanga’ wing of Jubilee, saying he was on his own.

But Lunga Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani and his Kinango counterpart Benjamin Tayari, are rallying support for Abdallah. The two are staunch Ruto supporters.

“I urge the people of Msambweni to come out in large numbers on December 15, to vote for Abdallah for continuity of Msambweni development plans and in honour of our late brother Suleiman for the good job he accomplished,” said Mwashetani.

Sharlet, who is the only female politician in the ring, is banking on the votes of women and the youth whom she says are still grappling with limited political inclusion and high levels of poverty.

Mwakaoje is a retired clinical officer while Abdulrahman is a prominent local businessman. 

While on a meet-the –people tour in several locations, Boga stressed the need for a high voter turnout in the upcoming by-election.

He is exuding confidence, noting that the ODM party has a strong following in the constituency that was established for the 1988 General Election.

The former civic leader says there is ‘no competition’ between the different political parties as ODM enjoys a strong following in the region.

He said he will focus on the fishing and tourism sectors and other spheres of development if elected.

Abdurahman promised to revamp tourism and agriculture if elected.

Mwakaoje says his agenda in seeking to represent the constituency was in pursuit of a fair, just and equitable society.

Msambweni is one of the four constituencies in Kwale, others being Lunga Lunga, Matuga and Kinango.

It has 69,377 registered voters spread across the four wards including Ramisi, Kinondo, Bongwe-Gombato and Ukunda.

The seat fell vacant following the death of Suleiman Dori in March.

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