In Summary
  • Mr Mudavadi, has been under intense pressure from the ODM leadership to withdraw their candidates in favour of Mr Okoth, hit back, maintaining that “Kibra was not Raila’s bedroom”.
  • Mr Mudavadi, through his press aide Kibisu Kabatesi, described as “garbage” the utterances made by ODM leaders in Kibra accusing ANC of betrayal over the Kibra mini-poll set for November 7.

Divisions over the entry of soccer star McDonald Mariga into the Kibra by-election escalated Friday after Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi broke ranks with ODM leader Raila Odinga over which candidate to support.

Meanwhile, Mr Mariga’s candidacy split the ruling Jubilee Party down the middle, with some MPs rejecting his bid and vowing to support ODM candidate Imran Okoth.

WATERED DOWN

Mr Mudavadi, who alongside Ford-Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula, have been under intense pressure from the ODM leadership to withdraw their candidates in favour of Mr Okoth, hit back, maintaining that “Kibra was not Raila’s bedroom”.

Mr Mudavadi, through his press aide Kibisu Kabatesi, described as “garbage” the utterances made by ODM leaders in Kibra accusing ANC of betrayal over the Kibra mini-poll set for November 7.

“Unlike others who thrive [on] being compromise candidates under various coalitions, Mudavadi is the right candidate for Kenyans,” Mr Kabatesi said in reference to Mr Odinga.

ANC is fronting former Odinga campaign manager Eliud Owalo in the race while Ford-Kenya will field Mr Khamisi Butichit for the seat that fell vacant following the death of ODM’s Ken Okoth.

The by-election has also split Jubilee, with some politicians allied to Deputy President William Ruto supporting Mr Mariga while others are rallying behind Mr Okoth.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s seeming endorsement of Mr Mariga was watered down a few hours later when nominated MP Maina Kamanda, who has emerged as Mr Kenyatta’s number one defender, held a meeting with Mr Odinga accompanied by some Jubilee officials and declared support for Mr Okoth.

FACTIONS

Other Jubilee leaders who have vowed to rally behind Mr Okoth against Mr Mariga include Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria.

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