Kibra Politics

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"Voting for Imran Okoth is voting for me", Raila tells Kibra Electorate

ODM leader Raila Odinga yesterday declared that a vote for the party’s candidate in the Kibra by-election would be a vote for him.

Raila’s impassioned plea to the more than 100,000 registered voters in the informal settlement to back Imran Okoth came as campaigns for the November 7 mini-poll entered the homestretch.

The opposition chief addressed rallies at Bhukungu and Laini Saba grounds where MPs allied to him labelled Kenyan international McDonald Mariga of Jubilee and Amani National Congress candidate Eliud Owalo as “projects” of Deputy President William Ruto.

The MPs made the claims even as they vowed not to allow Ruto to raid Raila’s “political bedroom” by ensuring the seat is retained by the Orange party.

Raila said he had plans to uplift the informal settlement.

In a move targeting ethnic blocs, the former premier paraded Luhya leaders to rally the community behind the ODM candidate.

The party received a boost after Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala (ANC) joined nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi in ditching Owalo for Imran.

Members of the Luhya and Luo communities are the majority in the constituency that has traditionally backed Raila and their voting pattern is expected to sway the outcome of the mini-poll.

Oparanya said the community had benefited under Raila, citing the Grand Coalition government that had more Luhya leaders in the Cabinet courtesy of Raila.

He described ANC and Ford Kenya as “small outfits than cannot propel the community”.

Gumo said his decision to campaign was informed by a “plot from certain quarters” to humiliate Raila in his backyard by snatching the seat at the poll.

Malala said he had abandoned Mudavadi in drumming up support for Owalo after he allegedly realized the candidate was being backed by Ruto.

Junet demanded that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission provide a list of all clerks and presiding officers who will supervise the mini-poll.

He said ODM would not allow “outsiders” to preside over the exercise.

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Timothy Omondi