Tribal factor in the Kibra constituency by elections has taken a center stage threatening the previously enjoyed control of opposition leader Raila Odinga’s political base in the capital after a Luhya lobby group declared support for Khamis Bitichi of Ford Kenya.
Yesterday, Obulala Movement accused the western region political leadership of “failing to unite” them to capitalise on their populous vote bloc.
“The reason we are here is to make a declaration of the Luhya candidate in the Kibra by elections. There is a difference between a Luhya candidate and a candidate of Luhya origin. We are doing this on behalf of the silent majority of Luhya community. Our leaders have failed us. They have failed to unite us.” Obulala Movement chairman Richard Ekhalie said.
According to a survey conducted by the movement comprising a 10,000 sample size with Kibra constituency, Bitichi garnered 470 points while Martin Andati and McDonald Mariga of Modern Alliance Party Jubilee Party polled 430 and 385 points respectively.
“Sometimes people may think we are bringing tribalism but we are not. We belong somewhere. We always here of meetings but when Luhya meet it becomes an issue. As Kibra people you need a leader like the late honourable Ken Okoth and not imposed leaders.” Vincent Shimoli, an official said.
Political pundits contend that Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) candidate Imran Okoth, brother to the immediate former legislator Okoth has emerged as the main contender although daggers are drawn to cascade national politics between Raila and Deputy president William Ruto in the mini polls.
In what is shaping out to be an all drawn out political war, Ruto who has been vehemently backing the Jubilee candidate has set up a tight campaign machinery to take on Raila in his Kibra political backyard.
Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC) party candidate is Eliud Owalo, a former ODM presidential campaign manager.