Schemes to succeed former Kibra Mp, the late Ken Okoth began even before his demise. Political players who had known that the law maker would succumb to cancer secretly making inroads and taking ‘selfies’ with Wanyama brothers at the Deputy President’s official residence.
In July Ken passed and campaigns hit fever pitch before the last respect rights and before the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi declared the seat vacant.
When it was all system go, pundits say Kibra by-election was ‘a national election’, all the top parties fielded candidates there and all the possible 2022 contenders chose to flex their muscles in mini the polls. Some were paid to field candidates the same way they have been ‘sponsored projects’ before and will be in 2022.
But most importantly it was a duel between Dp William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga. Ruto had ‘a project’; he selected former football star and betting maestro McDonald Mariga to be the Jubilee candidate in the polls.
Raila had the duty to defend the seat that he said belongs to ODM but most importantly, he reffered to Kibra as the ODM party’s bedroom.
Ruto had begun making campaign trips to Kibra and pitching camp even before ODM would hold party primaries. He selected mariga and hit the road the day after, promising to return a day after ODM nominations which were expected to be violent and shambolic.
But, like he had ‘choreographed’ everything, he flew to Ethiopia on the nomination’s eve. Imran Okoth won in the ODM primaries and eventually, the Kibra seat.
PROTECTING THE BEDROOM
It is like Raila had a good strategy to defend the bedroom, from party nominations to campaigns and elections itself.
Mariga’s campaign was well oiled; there were claims that they dishing out cash to the Kibra residents and many media reports that the DP was using state resources and former Raila men to conduct their campaigns.
They threw in drama too, to win Mariga some sympathy votes. He is not a registered voter in Kibra, he is registered in Kariokor but that does not legally bar him from running in Kibra. One day his name was missing in the register, the next day it was there.
Team Mariga put up a strong fight to take the seat from Kibra. Mariga even earned the status of ‘the man to beat’ kind of thing.
For most of the campaign period Raila kept off Kibra campaigns but allowed his foot soldiers to run the show. He would be in Mombasa ‘ordering’ KPA officials to stop their drainage jobs at the Likoni Ferry channel to easen search operations to retrieve the bodies of a woman and her daughter who had drowned in the Indian ocean.
He would still maintain at the coast, attend the Mashujaa day fete at the Mama Ngina Water Front but back at home (Kibra) Ruto was intensifying his push to take over the ‘bedroom’.
Ruto through Mariga was becoming a serious threat, Raila came out of hide outs to address the KIbra residents and he assured them that he was going to do all he could to protect the ‘bedroom’. Kibra Constituebcy became ODM/Raila’s bedroom.
The use of funny sexual language watered down the serious political discourse that Kibra would present.
The late Ken Okoth made strides in making education and access to education and learning materials easier and better. Raila reduced it to a ‘bedroom’ affair and DP Ruto saw it as the perfect opportunity to set the Luhya community gainst Luo in the constituency.
Outspoken Kenyan lawyer exiled in Canada, Miguna Miguna threw in more shades in the ‘bedroom’ talk. He made it even dirtier with claims that the late Fidel Odinga was not Raila’s biological son.
That was crazy and indecent. Miguna who had fallen out with the ODM leader took this a platform to address Odinga’s real bedroom issues.
Pundits say that money was ‘poured’ for loud mouths to do the dirty job. If Boni Khalwale is paid to rant, Miguna can also be paid to rant things that are unprintable.
CRACKS IN JUBILEE EXPOSED
Raila returned into the Kibra campaigns in the last week, surrounded by his would be new allies. All the three Ukambani governors, Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Prof. Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) and Charity Ngilu of Kitui County.
Raila also had the backing of Jubilee politicians, Governor Ann Waiguru of Kirinya, Nyoro of Kiambu, Mp Joshua Kutuny and nominated Mp Maina Kamanda backed supported the ODM candidate.
At this point Ruto was literally throwing the towel in his attempts to take over the bedroom. It was not achievable with a divided Jubilee team. His foot soldiers like Oscar Sudi could not stand the heat of the city politics.
While addressing a rally in Naivasha, Ruto claimed that Raila had brought in people to help in the bedroom. ‘That old man has brought in people to help him in the bedroom’.
By elections came and Imran Okoth of ODM won by a landslide. Media widely reported that Raila had planted spies in Ruto’s men and counted all their moves. Ruto dismissed such reports and claimed that Odinga used the militia in the ‘bedroom’.
He congratulated the ODM candidate for winning and Jubilee candidate for braving the chaos, violence and militia to serve ODM the notice.
He claimed that ODM unleashed goons and demanded apology. Raila in a thanksgiving rally in D.C grounds thanked the Kibra resident for ‘protecting the bedroom’ and for making their voices heard on the ballot over money.