NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 2 – Former Harambee Stars midfielder MacDonald Mariga will fly Jubilee Party’s flag in the November Kibra Parliamentary Seat by-elections after being picked by the ruling party’s National Elections Board (NEB).
In a statement released by the NEB chair Andrew Musangi, Mariga has been described as a man with ‘impeccable character’ and the best pick to carry the party’s flag in the by election.
“The above due process has yielded for the Jubilee Party a candidate of impeccable character and credentials, a person who has an endearing connection with the people of Kibra as he hails from Karanja and most importantly a candidate who has demonstrated the energy, passion and zeal to not only lead by example with humility with zeal but also deliver a timeless and transformative legacy for the people of Kibra,” the statement from the NEB read.
Speaking on Monday morning after meeting with the NEB alongside the 16 other candidates that were seeking the Jubilee ticket, Mariga who has been closely associated with Deputy President William Ruto says he was not pushed into politics but took the decision on his own.
“I was not pushed by anyone. This is a decision that I took after consultation with the family. I don’t think politics will soil my reputation because people are different,” Mariga said.
He added; “I have been a resident of Karanja in Kibra and I know too well the struggles the people of Kibra go through. I took this decision as a way of giving back to the community.”
Mariga’s decision to dive into the dirty waters of politics puts an end to his stellar footballing career that saw him become the first East African to win the UEFA Champions League when he lifted the trophy during his stint at Inter Milan under Jose Mourinho in 2010.
He made his name while turning out for Parma and his last club as a professional was Real Oviedo in the Spanish second tier where he played until the close of the 2017/2018 season where he made 19 appearances.
The sunset days of his career were slowed down by a nasty knee injury he picked that took him out of action for close to a year.