NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 6 – Campaigns for the Kamukunji by-election are beginning to heat up following the announcement by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) that the polls would be held on August 18.
PNU’s candidate Yusuf Hassan on Saturday morning embarked on a road show across the constituency in what he termed as a ‘re-energising process ahead of the by-election.’
Speaking to Capital News ahead of the event, Mr Hassan argued that the long gap caused by the court ruling barring the elections would not affect his campaigns.
“I will be successful despite the delays caused by the court ruling. I am confident that my track record speaks for itself and many people will vote for me,” he stated.
He attributed this to the fact that a majority of the people in the area had already made up their minds on their candidate of choice.
“They had already decided on which candidate they will choose even before the elections were stopped. Some may have despaired but a majority were sure of what they wanted come the election date,” he explained.
He described himself as a well educated individual with a long experience in politics as he has been active since 2007.
He stressed that as the area’s legislator, he would advocate for equality in all aspects of his dealings with residents there.
He added that he had a strong attachment to people in Nairobi and that he would treat each of his electorates justly.
“If I clinch the Kamukunji seat, I offer you all my experience as well as track record which speaks for itself. I know it may be difficult for people to believe me but I will serve you with every ounce of strength I have,” he stated.
Mr Hassan is a former journalist and UN official and has been using his work experience and education to woo voters.
Others in the running include Ahmed Ibrahim alias Johnnie (ODM), Brian Weke (Narc-Kenya), Paul Mwangi (National Vision Party), Catherine Muthoni Kihara (GNU), James Matagaro (Kenya Social Congress), David Waihiga (Agano) and Daniel Omao (Ford People).
Mr Ahmed, a businessman, boasts of being born and bred in Kamukunji and wants voters to make it right as he alleges that his votes were stolen in the 2007 polls. Reports also indicate Mr Mbugua is quietly campaigning for Mr Ahmed.
The by election was as a result of a successful petition against immediate former MP Simon Mbugua filed by Mr Johnnie and Mr Hassan.
Mr Mbugua will however not defend his seat as he was locked out of the polls after losing PNU’s nomination to Mr Hassan.
The IIEC made the announcement following a Court of Appeal ruling on July 29 lifting an injunction that stopped the electoral body from conducting the by-election.
During the ruling, the High Court was faulted for issuing the order on the eve of the poll knowing that the move would deny IIEC a chance to appeal.
Immediately after the ruling, lawyer Pherozee Norwojee – representing the IIEC – said that the commission would proceed with eight candidates that had been nominated for the by-election.
The case stopping the by election had been filed by businessman Waweru Mwangi of the National Vision Party who argued that he was unfairly blocked by the IIEC from handing in his nomination papers.
While making the ruling to stop the by election Justice Daniel Musinga ruled that the nomination process was flawed as it locked out a candidate.