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The front runners in Kibra race and those merely making up the numbers

Immediately the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi issued a Gazette notice to declare the Kibra Parliamentary seat vacant, follwoing the death of Ken Okoth in late July 2019, jostling by prospective aspirants began in earnest.

A total of 30 aspirants presented their papers to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), but only 24 candidates were eventually cleared to vie for the seat.

Thereafter, the forerunners in the contest inevitably separated themselves from the rest of the crowded field.

With just hours remaining before the votes are cast, ODM candidate Bernard Okoth, McDonald Mariga of the Jubilee Party and ANC’s Eliud Owalo have emerged as the clear favourites.

Granted all the other candidates stand a chance to succeeding Okoth. Still a winner outside these three candidates would be amount to a major shock result.

So here we take a look at each of three candidates and the pledges they made to the people of Kibra during the campaign period over the last few months.

1. Bernard Okoth (ODM)

Imran has in his rounds of campaign pledged to improve the roads in Kibra for easier accessibility by emergency vehicles during emergency incidents.

Following in his brother’s passion for education Imran has promised to build more schools and increase the bursary funds allocation.

“In my first one hundred days in office, if elected, I will build Kibra Secondary School,” he pledeged.

He also promised to ensure more youths in the area have a source of income by revamping the Jua Kali sector in the constituency.

Youth will have more self-empowerment programs and projects to limit over-dependency in formal employment.

2. McDonald Mariga (Jubilee Party)

Mariga is the only candidate in the contest who will not vote for himself in the mini-poll since he is not a registered voter in the constituency.

His registration was the subject of a legal dispute which was settled by the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission.

But the retired footballer has promised to nurture talents in Kibra by setting up clubs for football, volleyball, rugby and boxing.

This, Mariga says, with help the youth in the area engage in meaningful activity which in return will be a source of income for them.

He has also promised affordable housing and creating jobs for the thousands of Kibra residents by engaging the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National government to set up trade funds to assist the SME’s in their business.

 3. Eliud Owalo (ANC)

Mr Owalo was Raila Odinga’s chief campaigner in the 2013 presidential election. He headed the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) that brought together ODM, Wiper and Ford-Kenya parties.

He has on many occasions mentioned the sanitation status of Kibra as one of his major pledges.

Top on his pledges list are affordable but environmentally friendly houses for residents who live in makeshift houses with no proper sanitation.

He has also pledged to facilitate the education of poor but bright and capable learners in the constituency.

4. Khamisi Butichi (Ford Kenya)

Other than being registered as a civil engineer with the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK), little is known of the former ally of ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi.

His name came to the limelight when he announced his candidature for the seat.

Nevertheless, he promises to use his engineering knowledge to improve infrastructure in the area.