By Nicholas Olambo
With expectations that the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi will declare the Kibra parliamentary seat vacant this week, the contest is already taking shape within the shell that is left of NASA Coalition and majorly within ODM. ODM losers in previous elections and by elections in Nairobi are all eying to succeed the late Hon. Ken Okoth.
Some of the would be aspirants seeking ODM ticket include Imran Okoth, Elizabeth Ongoro, Edwin Sifuna, Irshad Sumra and Benson Musungu. Eliud Owalo, a former aide and campaign manager to the ODM Party Leader Raila will also eye the seat through ANC ticket. ODM has lost in previous by elections in areas where they were expected to triumph and their enemies would want that trend to continue. Formers allies in NASA who were not part of the march 9th handshake are for the ODM failures and it’s for this reason small parties like Musalia’s ANC and Ford Kenya with no chances are preparing to field candidates.
Owalo was bitter after partying ways with the ODM leader and he spent time speculating all sorts of nonsense to oppose a possible Winnie Odinga candidacy in 2017 beyond her health issues then. Ford Kenya is out to throw short jabs because their leader Senator Moses Wetangula is still bitter after being replaced by Senator James Orengo of ODM as the senate minority leader. Their heads could still be deep in the sands. NASA and more specifically ODM lost seats in areas considered their strongholds in 2017 polls because they avoided the zoning strategy that would see them field candidates in regions according to party strength.
That madness has no chance in Kibra, that is an ODM stronghold and getting the ODM ticket is kin to winning the seat. Imran Okoth (brother to Ken) has the chances of succeeding his brother through sympathy vote and through party strength. He is already enjoying the backing of Nairobi Women Rep, Esther Pasaris and possibility of Jubilee not fielding a candidate will also play to his advantage.
Other would be aspirants as Sumra, Sifuna, Ongoro are time wasters seeking to gain media coverage but they all have slim chances. Owalo is ‘a small man’ with no weight to challenge Baba. Former nominated senator Elizabeth Ongoro has her good days in the history books, she is a renowned loser like Sumra. In fact, Ongoro had ditched ODM for ANC, when did she rejoin the party? She should be battling for ANC ticket with Obado. Ethnicity could be a winning factor in Kibra but it won’t favor her, she had shown disloyalty to Baba.