With two weeks remaining to the much-awaited Kibra by-election, the heat is already being felt on the interweb.
Supporters of the two main rivals in the race, Orange Democratic Movement’s Imran Okoth and Jubilee’s McDonald Mariga, on Wednesday, faced off on micro-blogging site, Twitter, with those aligned to the ODM party accusing Jubilee of electoral malpractice.
Using the hashtag #StopBuyingIDs, ODM supporters accused their counterparts of buying Identification Cards (IDs) from the Kibra electorates in a bid to unfairly deny Imran victory in the mini-poll that has been slated for November 7.
The supporters claimed the alleged fraud had been schemed by Deputy President William Ruto who they said is bankrolling Mariga’s campaigns to shame ODM leader Raila Odinga in the race to succeed late MP Ken Okoth.
— Life As Jacy Jess 🇰🇪 (@as_jacy) October 23, 2019
— KM_KABURU (@muchuikaburuKE) October 23, 2019
Kibra pple should not be deceived by these jubilee slayqueens @KBonimtetezi @OleItumbi mariga and the likes. They are Ruto sycophants whom he chose to show his superiority. After 7th youll never see them instead they'll be flying chopper to sugoi#StopbuyingIDs#ODMPanicsinKibera
— King (@teamcourages) October 23, 2019
The fruits of #handshake ! who ever thought raila odinga and his odm party would panick in a byelection , more so in kibra , this much? thank you baba for laying a peaceful ground for your opponents in the guise of handshake. #ODMPanicsInKibera #StopBuyingIDs
— Elijah Okemwa (@elijah1334) October 23, 2019
On the other hand, Jubilee supporters ran a parallel hashtag #ODMPanicsinKibera saying the party had sensed defeat, hence, the claims.
— Eloiloijairus-M.B.S 🇰🇪 (@eloyloy26) October 23, 2019
They ferry people from Mathare, Kawangware, Makongeni, Kaloleni into Kibra .
The likes of Simba Arati, George Aladwa, Maina Kamanda, Anthony Oluoch, etc are deceiving Raila like some MPs did in Ugenya.
— Amedo Shair (@AmedoShair) October 23, 2019
— Kakamega_pundit🇰🇪 (@Kakamega_pundit) October 23, 2019
The thermometer of Mariga's success is merely the jealousy of odm malcontents; we are used to Raila's elections tactics.#ODMPanicsInKibera
— ʙ ᴀ ʀ ᴀ ᴢ ᴀ (@ba_baraza) October 23, 2019
ODM get it vividly you're're going to lose the seat in kibra constituency because of stupid hooliganism
— Enoch Cheruiyot (@EnochCheruiyot5) October 23, 2019
This is not the first time ODM is accusing the Jubilee candidate of planning to rig the election.
Some of the party leaders who have made the remarks openly include Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino and his Suna East counterpart Junet Mohammed.
This is after the party accused the Independent and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of ignoring requests to avail an updated voter register for the mini poll.
Junet said, “The hide-and-seek games IEBC has engaged our party over the register is breeding suspicion.”
“Chairman we did an opinion poll and it is showing that 70% of the Kibra residents are going to vote for our candidate. Therefore any reduction of that number will lead us Mr. chairman to mobilise, and this time it will be serious mobilization, to eject you from this office,” Owino told commission chairman Wafula Chebukati during a meeting with ODM leaders.
The electoral body and the party leadership later agreed to use the 2017 register in the by-election.
Last week Mariga filed a formal complaint against ODM with the IEBC accusing the party leadership and their supporters of attacking his campaign team.
This is after his Jubilee branded car was damaged and one of his supporters injured after supporters believed to be from the ODM camp pelted stones at his campaign convoy.
On Friday, the commission dismissed the petition for want of compliance with regulations 8 and 15 of Electoral conduct, which relates to the filing of the complaint.
IEBC, however, warned the parties to desist from violent acts.