, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 29 – The Wiper party now wants the Orange Democratic Movement to withdraw its candidate for the Embakasi South by-election set for April 5.
Speaking at a press conference Tuesday at the Wiper Headquarters in Karen, Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka said the ODM leadership should allow Wiper to retain the only seat they have in Nairobi in the spirit of the March 9 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Wiper and ODM belong to the Opposition NASA coalition.
“I have made this point very plainly and I think (Irshad) Sumra can do this country a great favour. In fact, he would emerge a statesman if he was to say he went to the court and the court granted him his right but the people on the ground are angry. This is the only seat that Wiper has in Nairobi; if indeed the coalition means business, they should allow Wiper to retain this seat,” said Musyoka.
Wiper has given a direct ticket to Julius Mawathe whose election of August 8, 2017 was nullified by the Supreme Court last December citing irregularities.
Mawathe and his party leader Musyoka have called on Embakasi South constituents to turn out in large numbers and vote for him.
“I am so happy to have been given this ticket by my party and I want to appreciate the support I have received. I am now calling on my people in Embakasi South to turn out in numbers and do what they did in August 8, 2017. I want to assure them that this seat is still ours,” Mawathe said.
His request was echoed by Musyoka who is convinced Mawathe will retain the seat.
“We will win this overwhelmingly and I call even on employers to allow the people of Embakasi South to go and vote on that particular day. Turn out in large numbers and prove that indeed you were right when you first voted for our candidate Mawathe,” he urged.
Interestingly, Mawathe’s victory was challenged by Sumra (ODM), a one-time Embakasi South who was also given a direct party ticket for the forthcoming by-election.
ODM also gave a direct ticket to Christopher Odhiambo Karani for the Ugenya by-election which will also be held on April 5.
Karani’s election was petitioned by former MP David Ochieng who lost by about 200 votes.
Jubilee has already announced that it will not present candidates for the two by-elections, a decision Secretary General Raphael Tuju said was reached after consultations with the party leadership.