In Summary
  • DP is yet to recover from the loss a week later and has been sending broadsides against Raila and ODM party over ‘violence and political conmanship’.
  • The DP has appeared isolated since the ‘handshake’ and the Kibra by-election appeared to give him an opportunity to test his popularity in Nairobi politics.

  • The DP will now have to go back to the drawing board.

The hotly-contested Kibra by-election, which was presented as a test for the ‘handshake’ between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga, has exposed the imminent realignment set to dominate politics ahead of the 2022 polls.

The seat was easily retained by ODM’s Bernard Otieno Okoth despite a spirited fight from Jubilee candidate MacDonald Mariga, who enjoyed firm support from Deputy President William Ruto.


The ‘handshake’ survived the bruising battle but there is a clear indication things would not remain the same for major political players.

President Kenyatta gave the by-election a wide berth, presenting a chance to his close confidantes led by nominated MP Maina Kamanda to speak for him. He was only seen once with Mr Mariga when the aspirant went to State House, accompanied by Dr Ruto.

Mr Mariga’s loss left an egg on the face of the DP, who vigorously campaigned for the former Harambee Stars captain, only to end up with less than half of Mr Okoth’s votes.

A week later, Dr Ruto is still continuing with his attacks against Mr Odinga and the ODM party following the loss.

“Tinga and his party’s trail of political conmanship and deceit from Kanu, through Cord to Nasa and now heading to Jubilee, and  litany of violence from ‘82 coup to Kibra cannot be hidden behind BBI.


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