Prepare for BBI shock, Raila tells Ruto after Kibra victory
ODM leaders have told Deputy President William Ruto to prepare for resounding defeat, should the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report recommend for a referendum to amend the Constitution.
Led by party leader Raila Odinga, they termed the Kibra by-election a rehearsal for both BBI and 2022 presidential race.
Raila said ODM’s win in the by-election was a pointer that Kenyans are ready for change, adding that it shows “Kenyans are tired of deceptive politics”.
ODM candidate Imran Okoth carried the day in the race with 24,636 votes, edging out Jubilee Party’s McDonald Mariga who came in a distant second with 11,230 votes.
The mini-poll, occasioned by the death of former MP and Imran’s brother Ken Okoth in July, was seen as a battle between rivals Raila and Ruto, who were campaigning for their parties’ respective candidates.
The leaders launched an attack on the DP, telling him to stop being bitter about the contest, which they termed a rehearsal for both BBI and 2022 presidential race.
The Kibra by-election was seen a battle between rivals Raila and Ruto, who was campaigning for Jubilee Party
Speaking at DC Grounds in Kibra yesterday, Raila thanked residents of the informal settlement for helping the party retain the seat “despite all the tricks” employed by their rivals.
“Thank you for saving us public humiliation. The Kibra by-election is a classic example for not only for Nairobi City County but for the whole nation,” he said.
“It has shown us that Kenyans want change, fairness and justice as they are tired of deceptive politics. The Kibra contest has demonstrated that bags of money cannot win an election.”
Saying Imran was voted in by people across all the tribes residing in Kibra, Raila said that unity is what BBI stands for. He told off Ruto for claiming that the Orange party had run scared and invited strangers to its bedroom, he said the party had the last laugh at the ballot.
“Look at him now, who is having the last laugh? You have realised that Kenyans are tired of corruption, which essentially theft of public resources,” he said referrering to Ruto, who has condemned both ODM and Raila for allegedly condoning violence during campaigns and voting.
Raila was accompanied by Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, his Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya, Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro, MPs Junet Mohammed (Suna East) and Simba Arati (Dagorreti North) and Esther Pasarris (Nairobi Woman Representative) and Joshua Kutuny (Cherangany), among other leaders.
Raila maintained that the Kibra outcome demonstrated that Kenya has no place for tribal or ethnic alliances.
“Kibra MP-elect was voted in by Kikuyus, Kisii, Luhya, Nubians, Luo, Kamba and even Borana—all of them. This is the face of Kibra and the whole of Kenya,” he said.
Jubilee -allied MPs criticised Ruto for allegedly using Kibra by-elections to divide Kenyans along tribal lines.
The 2022 contest
Kutuny and former Dagoretti South MP Denis Waweru thanked the Kibra for “locking out thieves keen on the 2022 presidential contest”.
“This is a start of a journey to salvage Kenya from hungry criminals and thieves. What we have done in Kibra is what we will do in the 2022 General Election,” said Waweru.
Nominated MP Maina Kamanda said the ODM win signalled and defined the 2022 presidential race. He reiterated Kenyans will no longer listen to ideas and advances of selfish leaders keen to clinch power to serve their personal gains.
“The politics that played here and its eventual outcome, is what is going to be with us for over 50 years starting with the 2022 General Election,” he said.
Earlier in the day, ODM had in a statement said it would not apologise as demanded by the DP for the violence that rocked Kibra during the by-election.
Instead, the party wants Ruto and his team to apologise for the fracas witnessed in Ganda ward by-election in Malindi.
“In a bid to realise his wishes, Ruto made sure Ganda by-election not only turned violent and chaotic, but also ended with the fatal shooting of a resident,” reads the statements signed by ODM Nairobi ODM chairman and director of campaigns Junet Mohamed.
“From Ganda, Ruto brought his trap with him to Kibra, once again promising to teach ODM a lesson. His tools of trade were the usual ones; voter bribery, fear-mongering, lies, anger and violence,” he said .
“We thank our volunteer vote protectors who did everything to nab Ruto’s schemes and goons who included people who should otherwise be honourable leaders,” he added.
Ruto has accused the Orange party of using violence to intimidate Jubilee Party’s agents and supporters in Kibra and demanded an apology from Odinga.