Uhuru support for Mariga complicates Handshake politics

Thursday, September 19th, 2019 00:00 |

David Ndolo

Contest for the Kibra parliamentary seat heightened last evening after President Uhuru Kenyatta endorsed the Jubilee candidate McDonald Mariga.

The move would see Uhuru engage in a political duel with his long time rival-turned ally, ODM leader Raila Odinga. 

This would be the first time the two would be involved in a contest since the March 9, 2018 Handshake, which ended the bitter 2017 election dispute. 

A statement from the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit said Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto had met Mariga at State House, Nairobi.

Full backing

“The President wished Mariga, who was accompanied by Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju, success in the contest and assured him of his full backing,” the statement stated.

Also present were National Assembly Leader of Majority Aden Duale and Chief Whip Benjamin Washiali among others.

Raila, who has been enjoying a cordial relationship with the President since the Handshake, is fronting for his party candidate Bernard Okoth, alias  Imran.

Earlier in the day, Imran visited Nairobi County Assembly where he sought the support of  ODM  MCAs.

Speaking at City Hall  after meeting the  MCAs led by Peter Imwatok (Minority Whip) and Wilfred Odalo (PAC  chairman), Imran said he was determined to win the seat left vacant by the death of his brother Ken Okoth.

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