We shall go it alone, says ODM on by-elec­tions

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - NATIONAL NEWS - BY DAVID MWERE

The cam­paigns for April 5 by- elec­tions in Em­bakasi South and Ugenya con­stituen­cies have be­gun in earnest with the Or­ange Demo­cratic Move­ment (ODM) party rul­ing out any coali­tion ar­range­ments be­fore the 2022 gen­eral elec­tions as it seeks to re­assert it­self.

Speak­ing at a Church in Nairobi’s Em­bakasi South con­stituency yes­ter­day, West­lands MP Tim Wany­onyi, who led seven ODM MPS in a cam­paign for for­mer MP Ir­shad Sumra, dis­missed the ex­is­tence of the Nasa coali­tion say­ing that it died on Jan­uary 30, when Mr Odinga was crowned peo­ple’s pres­i­dent in a mock swear­ing cer­e­mony at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park.

The ‘swear­ing-in’ cer­e­mony was boy­cotted by other Nasa lead­ers; Amani Na­tional Con­gress (ANC) leader Musalia Mu­davadi, Kalonzo Musyoka of Wiper and Ford Kenya’s Moses We­tang’ula, who sup­ported Mr Odinga’s pres­i­den­tial bid in the Au­gust 8, 2017 elec­tion.

“Nasa coali­tion died on Jan­uary 30, 2018. If we have to make any coali­tion, it must be after the gen­eral elec­tion in 2022. We must as­sert our­selves as a party,” Mr Wany­onyi spoke at Christ Cor­ner­stone Church in Mukuru Kwa Reuben.

The other MPS present were Tom Ka­jwang’ (Ruaraka), An­thony Olu­och (Mathare), Ge­orge Aladwa (Makadara), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Caleb Amisi (Saboti), and Teddy Mwambire (Ganze) and ODM sec­re­tary gen­eral Ed­win Si­funa.

Mr Ka­jwang’ fur­ther deep­ened the fears of a dead Nasa when he warned Wiper party lead­er­ship against fronting a can­di­date in Em­bakasi South. Mr Julius Mawathe, who lost the elec­tion pe­ti­tion to Mr Sumra, is a Wiper party mem­ber.

“If we are go­ing to travel to­gether and if you think there is some­thing we can do to­gether, we want to hear that Wiper will not field a can­di­date in the by-elec­tion,” Mr Ka­jwang’ said.

Mr Ka­jwang’ also claimed that Ju­bilee will not field a can­di­date in the area in the spirit of hand­shake be­tween Pres­i­dent Keny­atta and Mr Odinga.

How­ever, there was no im­me­di­ate ver­i­fi­ca­tion of the claim from Ju­bilee even as sources within the pres­i­dent’s party said that there will be a meet­ing in the course of the week to plan for the by-elec­tions.

The two par­lia­men­tary seats fell va­cant after the Supreme Court on De­cem­ber 21, 2018, nul­li­fied the Au­gust 8, 2017 elec­tion of MPS Christo­pher Karan (Ugenya) and Julius Mawathe (Em­bakasi South) on grounds that they were not validly elected.

For­mer Ugenya MP David Ochieng, who lost by about 200 votes, suc­cess­fully chal­lenged the vic­tory of Mr Karan while Mr Sumra pe­ti­tioned against Mr Mawathe’s elec­tion.

Nasa coali­tion died on Jan­uary 30, 2018. If we have to make any coali­tion, it must be after the gen­eral elec­tion in 2022. We must as­sert our­selves as a party.” West­lands MP Tim Wany­onyi

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