NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 2 – Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has endorsed Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) contender Imran Okoth, in a major boost to his candidature for the up-coming Kibra by-election.
Mutua announced the endorsement on Saturday, shortly after a meeting with ODM party leader Raila Odinga, while in the company of political players from Ukambani.
The Maendeleo Chap-Chap party leader said he is set to join Odinga for a major rally in Kibra on Sunday, as candidates make a last-minute rash to woe voters, in a crowded contest.
“I hereby today endorse Imran Okoth because we want out country to develop and do away with poverty,” he said amidst cheers.
The race has seen candidates try to marshal support along tribal lines, in the cosmopolitan city constituency, largely perceived as an ODM stronghold.
Okoth, McDonald Mariga of the ruling Jubilee Party and Eliud Owalo of Amani National Congress are the frontrunners of a seat that fell vacant following the death of the late Ken Okoth, in July.
The Machakos Governor said, Okoth, just like his late brother had the ability to steer Kibra forward.
While largely peaceful, the campaigns have witnessed pockets of violence, as rival groups clashes, prompting the electoral body to summon the candidates involved.
“Those urging violence should stop and instead sell policies. Kibra will be changed by development and not insults or violence,” DP Ruto said during the campaigns last week.
“Kibra is a small place. It is home to people from Nyanza, Central, Western, Rift-Valley, Coast and Ukambani. We want leaders who will bring positive change to the area,” he added.
According to the IEBC, there are 118,658 registered voters in Kibra.
On October 28, the poll agency announced the by-election will be conducted in 36 polling stations and relocated of 26,788 voters ahead of the poll.