Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale has told off Ida Odinga for criticizing McDonald Mariga for hanging his boots to engage in politics.
This is following Mama Ida’s taunting remarks on Wednesday that Mariga had tarnished his legacy by declaring his interest in the Kibra by-election slated for November 7.
Khalwale, in a tweet on Thursday, stated that the wife of Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga was only casting aspersions for fear of Mariga candidature.
He noted that some football stars in Africa had successfully vied for political seats, a good example being Liberia President George Weah.
Weah is currently serving as the 25th President of Liberia. He has been in office since 2018.
Prior to his election to the presidency, Weah served as Senator for Montserrado County.
“Mariga has sent the fear of the Lord in the ODM! None other the respected Ida Odinga has today advised that as a footballer Mariga will fail politically. Mama, celebrated footballer, President George Weah of Liberia, has succeeded where many Kenyan presidential wannabes didn’t, ” said Khalwale.
Mariga has sent the fear of the Lord in the ODM! None other the respected Ida Odinga has today advised that as a footballer Mariga will fail politically. Mama, celebrated footballer, President George Weah of Liberia, has succeeded where many Kenyan presidential wannabes didn't.. pic.twitter.com/8duWouxmTm
— Dr Boni Khalwale, CBS (@KBonimtetezi) September 12, 2019
While speaking in Kisumu, Mama Ida stated that Mariga, whose candidature on a Jubilee ticket was rejected by the electoral commission, should have stuck to football, where he had made a name for himself.
“Have you heard of the name Dennis Oliech? What has he excelled in? Football isn’t it? Think of Mariga, I can not use that as a good example because, when he changed the profession, you see how he failed,” Ida stated amid giggles.
“If he would have stuck to football he would do much much better.”
Dennis Oliech is a household name in Kenya having played for Harambee Stars and international club, Nantes, before he retired in 2016.
In January 2019, he was unveiled by Gor Mahia as the club’s striker.
Last month, the club, however, terminated his contract over gross ‘misconduct.’
Meanwhile, Mariga, who was barred from contesting for the Kibra seat on grounds that he was not a registered voter, On Wednesday filed a complaint with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s dispute resolution committee.
“The complainant is indeed a registered voter .. he was registered on August 26th as a voter in Kariokor Social Hall polling station in Starehe Constituency,” Mariga said on Wednesday in a sworn affidavit.
“The decision (to bar him from contesting) is improper null and void for want of lawful invalidation since the complainant is actually a registered voter.”
If he’s cleared, Mariga will face ODM’s Benard Otieno Okoth alias Imran, Amani National Congress’ Eliud Owala, Editar Achieng of Ukweli Party and Ford Kenya’s Khamisi Butichi.
The Kibra MP seat fell vacant following the death of Ken Okoth who succumbed to colorectal cancer on July 26, 2019.