Wiper and ODM clash over Embakasi South poll

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Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka, flanked by secretary-general Judith Sijeny, addresses the media at Wiper house on September 19, 2018. He expressed confidence that a Wiper party candidate will clinch the Embakasi South parliamentary seat. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By SAMWEL OWINO
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Mr Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper party has told the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) to brace for a bruising battle in the forthcoming Embakasi South by-election slated for April 5.

Wiper politicians on Sunday cautioned their colleagues against insulting their party leader.

Secretary-General Judith Sijeny said: “We will prepare accordingly for that seat and leave everything else to God. ODM should consider leaving that seat for us because it is the only one we have in the city.”

The seat fell vacant after the Supreme Court on December 21, 2018 nullified the election of Mr Julius Mawathe on grounds that he was not validly elected.

The court also nullified the election of Christopher Karan (Ugenya) on the same grounds.

HANDSHAKE

Kathiani MP Robert Mbui said the rivalry over the seat is causing unnecessary animosity at a time when the country is enjoying relative peace due to the peace deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM party leader Raila Odinga.

Mr Mbui said in the spirit of the ‘handshake’ ODM should support a Wiper candidate, but maintained that they are ready for a face off.

“We will win that seat in the morning; they will be in for a rude shock. We are getting back that seat. Mr Mawathe has only served for one year, what wrong has he committed that should make ODM want to take back the seat?” he posed.

“Why should we have a political contest yet we are a family; how would ODM feel if Wiper also fields a candidate in Ugenya?”

Seven ODM MPs last week dismissed the existence of the Nasa coalition, saying that it died on January 30 when Mr Odinga was crowned the people’s president in a mock swearing-in ceremony at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park.

CHALLENGE

The MPs warned Wiper party leadership against fronting a candidate in the by-election.

“If you think there is something we can do together, we want to hear that Wiper will not field a candidate in the by-election,” Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang said.

Mr Mbui – who is also the deputy minority leader in the National Assembly – termed the remarks as unfortunate.

“President Kenyatta, Odinga and Mr Musyoka have decided to bring the country together but the remarks of the MPs remind Kenyans where they have come from. Why should we have the Building Bridges Initiative if they are still talking about the swearing-in?” Mr Mbui wondered.





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