Jubilee’s candidate for the Kibra by-election Mcdonald Mariga and his ODM political rival Benard Otieno Okoth alias Imran were on Tuesday issued with nomination certificates ahead of the November 7 mini poll.
The duo is now warming up for the hotly contested seat that political pundits say will be a battle between Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
The two candidates and their party officials are expected to present their papers to the IEBC later today at 4 pm for clearance.
Other candidates in the race to succeed late MP Ken Okoth, who succumbed to cancer on July 26, are Amani National Congress’ Eliud Owala, Editar Achieng of Ukweli Party and Ford Kenya’s Khamisi Butichi.
Speaking after he was issued with the certificate at the Jubilee Headquarters, Mariga stated that he’s equal to the task.
“Kazi ianze sasa..imebaki kwenda kwa mafans, translating to, Let the work now begin. The only thing left now is to go to the supporters,” said Mariga.
On his part, Imran, who was handed the certificate in the presence of Odinga, received support from other ODM candidates who participated in the Saturday nominations.
Joined @TheODMparty members in attendance at Orange House as Bernard Imran Okoth was officially presented with his certificate after last weekend's nominations exercise and it's now all systems go! #MbelePamoja pic.twitter.com/ISb4VpNLGa
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) September 10, 2019
Peter Orero, who had challenged Imran’s victory, also supported Imran’s candidature having ironed the issue with the party’s Dispute and Resolution Tribunal.
Orero, who came second with 1218 votes, argued that Imran had access to the register which he used to work with during issuance of bursary funds to Kibra residents while serving at the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) office.
The Saturday exercise was marred by delays and several voters’ names were found to be missing from the IEBC register in most polling stations.
There was also claims that ODM leadership rigged in Imran.
Imran, a brother to late Okoth, allegedly paid Ksh2 million in exchange of 3700 ballot papers, a night to the polls.
“By 2 am, the SG’s guy will brief you on where to pick the papers and ensure you have an adequate workforce to mark all of them,. Changanya alama (tick, x and other recognized marks) to make it real. You know how you will distribute them across all polling stations. They are 3700 in number,” a WhatsApp message claimed to be from Philip Etale, ODM Director of Communications, read.
“Okoth remember I’m doing this for your late brother, you know if these things leak out, I will disown you and everything. The SG, Women Rep, Hon. Pareno and the entire team will not forgive you if you dare mess, ” he added.
Etale, on Monday, however, disputed claims of helping Imran clinch the ODM ticket.
“I am not in the business of extortion. For the record, I only rang Mr. Imran yesterday on instructions from my boss the Secretary-General Mr. Edwin Sifuna to inform him of how to conduct himself in the event he is invited for a media interview. That I did in my capacity as the DC of my beloved party ODM. That’s the only time I have ever spoken to Imran, ” he wrote on his social media handles.