Election mood grips Mathare
The Supreme Court order stopping a by-election in Nairobi’s Mathare Constituency has not dampened the campaign mood.
The poll promises to be a tough duel between the ruling Jubilee alliance and the opposition Cord.
All last week aspirants continued to criss-cross the constituency even after Judge Mohamed Ibrahim on Wednesday issued a temporary order stopping the election that was to be held June 3.
The week also saw the entry of an independent candidate, Mr Tom Alila, a football administrator, who unsuccessfully vied for the Ndhiwa seat on a Kanu ticket in 2012 after the death of Mr Orwa Ojode.
Mr Alila said he will offer the electorate fresh ideas.
“The feeling that parties are just regurgitating the same leaders without listening to the locals prompted the residents to convince me to vie. I want to introduce a new way of doing business in Mathare,” he said.
Another candidate whose name is expected on the ballot papers is Mr Stephen Kariuki, who was the ODM candidate in last year’s elections. He successfully filed a petition against TNA’s George Wanjohi.
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, who led the Cord team in vote hunting in Mathare, said Mr Kariuki was the party’s best bet.
Mr Alila’s entry into the race from the Cord stable appeared to complicate matters for ODM, which had hoped to rally all its troops behind Mr Kariuki.
Those who have officially applied for TNA’s nod and paid the requisite Sh200,000 nomination fees are telecoms consultant Gilbert Muthuma, Mr Jackson Mwangi, who ran for the Starehe parliamentary seat in the last election, former Huruma councillor Ndung’u wa Grace and TNA activist Samson Ojiayo.
On Saturday, TNA’s Johnstone Sakaja and party executive director Joseph Maathai said there will be no direct ticket, adding that the party had not settled on the mode of conducting nominations.
Starehe MP Maina Kamanda, who is leading the Jubilee team, said his party will recapture the seat.
The Supreme Court order was issued on April 9 and will remain in force until April 29. Mr Wanjohi hopes the top court will retain him.