By Milton Were
A section of Jubilee Party MPs has broken silence on the ongoing debate on McDonald Mariga’s ticket in the upcoming November 7 Kibra by-elections.
Defiant MPs said that Mariga had been imposed on the party by Deputy President Dr William Ruto.
MPs Maina Kamanda (nominated) and Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) on Tuesday said they would back Opposition Chief Raila Odinga’s ODM candidate in the poll set for November 7.
Mr Kamanda said he would not allow Deputy President William Ruto to ruin the peace brought by the handshake between Raila and President Uhuru Kenyatta with his “selfish political interests”.
Mariga on Monday denied claims that his decision to vie for the seat was influenced by Dr Ruto.He said he had sought the advice of people close to him before deciding to throw his hat in the Kibra by-election ring.
Kamanda yesterday dismissed the former footballer’s assertions, saying Ruto was using him as a pawn in his quest to face off with Raila in Kibra.
“The candidate Jubilee Party picked has been imposed on the party by Ruto. He is Ruto’s candidate and not Jubilee’s. I am for a candidate who will be announced by ODM,” said Kamanda.
He questioned Ruto’s keenness on having a candidate in Kibra, even after Jubilee decided not to field any in Ugenya, Migori and Embakasi South for the sake of the handshake.
As a result, the leaders have vowed to support the opposition in the upcoming by-elections.
Mr Kuria said Mariga was not suited to represent Kibra. He vowed to throw his weight behind Benson Musungu should ODM settle on him.
Kuria said Mr Musungu had lived in the sprawling informal settlement and understood it, adding that the handshake had freed them to support any candidate irrespective of the party.Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja was also cagey on who intended to back in the Kibra by-election.
He said he had hoped Jubilee would back an ODM candidate to continue the late Ken Okoth’s legacy in Kibra.“I had asked my party to back a candidate from ODM, but that request was declined. What I can say is that Kibra needs a good leader who can continue what Ken started,” said Mr Sakaja.