We’ll not allow outsiders to take Kibra seat, ODM vows

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019 00:00 |
ODM flag-bearer for Kibra by-election Imran Okoth addresses party delegates at the AIC Woodley in Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/TABITHA MBATIA

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) yesterday stamped its authority in Kibra saying it will not allow outsiders to take away a seat they claimed rightfully belongs to the party and urged other aspirants to brace for a tough battle.

ODM leaders made the vow yesterday as they launched the official campaign strategy team for their aspirant,  Imran Okoth and said they would stop at nothing other than winning back the seat.

Led by MPs John Mbadi (Suba), Junet Mohamed (Suna East) Tim Wanyonyi (Westlands), Babu Owino (Embakasi East) Anthony Oluoch (Mathare North), George Aladwa (Makadara) and Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna among others, the leaders said they are ready to face head-on other contenders and remained categorical that they would not be brought down.

Kind words

Neither did they have kind words for other parties that have fielded candidates in the race: Jubilee, Amani National Congress and Ford Kenya.

They took a swipe at Deputy President William Ruto saying  they would not allow him to use Kibra to test the waters ahead of the 2022 General-Election.

Junet, who is also the ODM Director of Elections, said the party would stand united as it seeks to recapture its seat affirming that this time round, they will campaign independently as a party and not as National Super Alliance (NASA).

“We are serious about these campaigns but we want to clarify that Kibra is fully an ODM stronghold. Other parties do not stand a chance in this race, we do not have a single competitor,” said Junet at AIC Kibra grounds where they had met delegates.

He maintained that nominations were free and fair and that propaganda will not bring down the party.

“Ruto does not have votes in Kibra, he is testing the waters for 2022 and we will not allow him to win. We will conduct a door-to-door campaign,”  he said, adding that: “This is a high standard campaign and we are ready for the face-off.”

Mbadi who is the party chairman said the Kibra seat was meant for Ken Okoth until 2022 and owing to his passing on, ‘an Okoth will finish the journey.’

“For two years, Imran stood in for his brother and he has learned on the job. Imran will be announced the winner on November 8,” said Mbadi.

The ODM  leaders also took issue with remarks that Kibra is a Luhya dominated zone saying that they will  not allow tribal politics.

They further castigated ANC and Ford Kenya leaders, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula respectively, for rushing to Kibra to field a candidate saying that they were being disrespectful to Raila Odinga.

Old wounds were also opened, with ODM leaders saying that Mudavadi and Wetang’ula let Raila down when he was to be sworn in at Uhuru Park and that they should not interfere with their leader’s stronghold.

Losing battle

Jubilee candidate, McDonald Mariga was not spared either. They told him to stick to his football career as  opposed to fighting a losing battle.

Imran called for unity during campaigns saying leaders should lead the way in ensuring that peace prevails at all times.

“I am a firm leader and will remain so. I am a principled person and will stick to my principles. I want to represent the people of Kibra in Parliament and I urge you to stand with me and we will achieve a lot since I have done it in the last two years,” he said.

The Kibra seat fell vacant following the death of holder Ken Okoth.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) cleared 23  candidates to participate in the November 7 mini-poll.

IEBC tweeted last week saying the seat had attracted 30 aspirants but seven had either been disqualified or did not show  up for clearance.

Out of those were cleared, 16 are sponsored by political parties while seven are running as independent candidates.

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