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Mariga: No, I’m not anybody’s ‘project’


McDonald Mariga has denied claims that he is being used by Jubilee Party bigwigs as a contestant in the upcoming Kibra parliamentary by-election.

Speaking to journalists on Monday at the Jubilee Party headquarters where he went to seek clearance to vie for the seat, former Kenya international midfielder sought to set the records straight on his plunge into politics.

“I am not being used by anyone, I made this decision with my family, so here I am. Let’s see how it goes,” Mariga explained.

Mariga also insisted that he understands the needs of the people of Kibra, a place he once called home having been raised in Kibra’s Karanja slums, long before he became famous.

“I am not anyone’s project and I will support whoever wins since I was born and raised in Kibra,” Mariga said.

The former Kenya international midfielder was however non-committal on whether his political move marks the end of his football career.

Since the surprise announcement by Jubilee Party that it will contest for the vacant parliamentary seat and Mariga’s subsequent emergence as a prospective candidate, there have been claims that the footballer is being fronted by powerful forces within the party.

The speculations have been further fueled by Mariga’s perceived close relationship with Deputy President William Ruto.

The 32-year-old, who won the Uefa Champions League with Inter Milan in 2010, has been without a club since being released by Spanish club Real Oviedo sometime last year.