Ruto allies challenge Raila, Wetang’ula to political duel in by-elections

Monday, January 11th, 2021 00:00 | By
Senator Kipchumba Murkomen.

Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka

Deputy President William Ruto’s allies  have challenged ODM leader Raila Odinga and  his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetangula to a  political  duel in the upcoming Matungu and Kabuchai mini polls.

 They also promised the Handshake team, which is led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila, a  gruelling fight  for the Nairobi governor seat, that fell vacant following the  impeachment of Governor  Mike  Sonko.

Ford-Kenya and ANC won the Kabuchai and Matungu seats respectively in 2017.

Led by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, the team said the Ruto group  only wants a level-playing field and transparent polls.

“How can we have a country where we are being  lectured that we need to obey the spirit of the Constitution and you are violating the same spirit,” said Murkomen, a former Senate Majority leader. 

The Senator was making reference to plans by the Nairobi County Assembly  to  swear-in Ann Kananu Mwenda as the Deputy Governor and  eventually acting Governor in bid to stop a possible by-election.

Buoyed by the November 15, 2020 Msambweni by-election, in which Feisal Bader, an independent candidate backed by Ruto won, flooring ODM’s Omar Boga, Murkomen said the DP’s camp and by extension the Hustler Movement, do not fear political competition.

Ruto  last week unveiled Bishop Margaret Wanjiru as the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party’s  candidate for the Nairobi mini-poll. UDA is a new party associated with the DP. 

In the populous Western Kenya bloc, Ruto has been on a charm offensive often conducting as many as five rallies in a single day in  the region.

On Friday, UDA unveiled former Kenya Revenue Authority board member Evans Kakai and Alex Alanya  as its candidates for Kabuchai and Matungu by-election respectively.

The Kabuchai poll presents the biggest test for Wetangula, for whom victory would send a strong message that he is still in charge of the party. 

In an interview with the People Daily yesterday, Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, said the outcome in Matungu and Kabuchai polls would be used to demonstrate that the hustler movement is the way to go ahead of the 2022 elections.

“This movement led by Chief Hustler Ruto carries the aspirations of the downtrodden individuals. We are going to rally all hustlers behind Kaikai and Alanya,” Barasa said.

“I know we are going to run against candidates fronted by seasoned politicians like Musalia Mudavadi and Wetang’ula.

We are going to separate politics from development. We are confident our candidates  resonate very well with voters,” said former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale.

More on News