, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 10 – The ruling Jubilee Alliance and Opposition coalition CORD are set for a major contest in Monday’s by-election in Mathare.
Jubilee is fronting George Wanjohi under President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party TNA while Stephen Kariuki is vying under ODM, a coalition party in Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s CORD.
The two will battle it out with seven other candidates, including four vying independently.
Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama and his Siaya Counterpart James Orengo are convinced that by winning the Mathare seat, CORD will reduce TNA’s numbers in the National Assembly.
Their Jubilee rivals are however, confident of recapturing the seat which fell vacant following the nullification of Wanjohi’s win by the Supreme Court which ruled that there were massive irregularities in the March 4 election.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Sunday announced that all is set for the by-election and was prepared to dispatch staff there ahead of the poll.
“On the Election Day, polling stations will open at 6am and close at 5pm. Electronic Voter Identification Devices (EVID) will be used in each polling station while transmission of provisional results will be done electronically from each polling stream,” said a statement from the commission.
The commission said it intends to deploy 230 presiding and deputy presiding officers as well as 460 polling clerks who have been hired and trained for the exercise.
Mathare has a total of 88,053 registered voters spread across six County Assembly Wards and 115 polling stations.
On Friday, former Youth Development Fund chairman Gor Semelang’o moved to the Court of Appeal after the High Court upheld a decision by IEBC to block his bid on grounds he did not resign six months to the mini-poll.
Semelang’o argues that he did not leave his job voluntarily as he was sacked and hence the rule does not apply.
The contest is seen as a two-horse race between Kariuki and Wanjohi, who is trying to recapture the seat.
However, independent candidates who include former Kasarani MP William Omondi and journalist Nixon Kavai can also influence the outcome of the by-election, according to political analysts.