Deputy President William Ruto has braced himself to fight his erstwhile political rival Raila Odinga in Kibra. He was already assembling forces to put up a spirited campaign for his selected Jubilee candidate, McDonald Mariga. Ruto, who went against President Uhuru’s order to not field a candidate in the ODM stronghold of Kibra even went on a pre-visit to Kibra, promising residents that he would be back on a full throttle campaign for Mariga, the invalidated Jubilee candidate.
Insiders in Ruto’s camp not only planned to raid on Odinga’s Kibra territory, but also wanted to use the Kibra race to plant suspicion and divisions between ODM and Jubilee during the campaigns, by provoking Raila Odinga’s camp with campaign expletives and stinging rhetoric. By challenging Raila Odinga in Kibra, the heart and artery of ODM as well as Odinga’s political bedrock, Ruto was flexing his muscles to far and having a 2022 test drive in the Kibra by-elections.
BREAKING: IEBC invalidates Macdonald Mariga's candidature for the Kibra by-election..his details not in the voter register..
— Ben Kitili (@Ben_Kitili) September 10, 2019
However, all these is now a pipe dream. After chest thumping and managing to have the Jubilee Elections Board on his side, Ruto managed to sway the decision of Jubilee to his favor. The decision to field Mariga in the November 7th by-elections. It would later turn out that Mariga is not only a non voter in Kibra, but also, has never voted in his entire life. Also, there are concerns the footballer changed his age in the national ID and has been using fraudulent documents, something which is likely to put him at loggerheads with the authorities.
Jubilee candidate for the #KibraByElection McDonald Mariga files a complaint with IEBC Dispute Resolution Committee following decision to invalidate his candidature. #KibraDecides pic.twitter.com/fCIU6tlC9R
— David Maina Ndung'u🇰🇪 (@ItsDavidMaina) September 11, 2019
This led to the cancellation of his candidate, which the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission termed as invalid, because his name is not in the updated voter’s roll. Details have now emerged how IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati and two other commissioners tried to force Mariga to be cleared, only for the Returning Officer to reject the directive.