A declaration by the ODM party that Jubilee nominated Member of Parliament Maina Kamanda, who has announced his support for Imran Okoth, will boost the candidate’s support in the forthcoming Kibra by-election has received a backlash.
Taking to social media on Thursday moments after Kamanda declared his unwavering support, the party stated that the politician had a big influence on the November 7 mini-poll, being “Jubilee’s strongman in Nairobi”.
“Boost for Party Candidate Bernard Otieno Okoth (Imran) as Jubilee’s strongman in Nairobi, Nominated MP Maina Kamanda declares his unwavering support for him, ” the post reads in part.
Boost for Party Candidate Bernard Otieno Okoth (Imran) as Jubilee’s strongman in Nairobi, Nominated MP Maina Kamanda declares his unwavering support for him. He said this when he joined PL @RailaOdinga for a presser at Capital Hill. Dir of Campaigns @JunetMohamed was also present pic.twitter.com/I9ak4p7TnB
— The ODM Party (@TheODMparty) September 19, 2019
During the press conference, Kamanda noted: “I am here in my personal capacity. The Handshake brought us harmony and peace in the country. As Jubilee, we have a candidate but as a person, I will be with the ODM candidate. I am here to stand with the candidate nominated by ODM Imran Okoth.”
Kamanda’s endorsement for Imran comes just hours after President Uhuru Kenyatta declared his support for Jubilee’s candidate McDonald Mariga.
However, a majority of netizens who reacted on the developments stated that Kamanda has little to offer being a nominated lawmaker.
Kamanda was nominated to the National Assembly after he was defeated by sitting Starehe MP Charles “Jaguar” Njagua during the Jubilee party primaries in 2017.
The former Starehe lawmaker, allied to Jubilee’s Kieleweke faction, becomes the second legislator from the ruling party to declare support for a candidate in the opposition.
The first was Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, who threw his support behind Benson Musungu.
Musungu had declared his interest on an ODM ticket. He, however, lost to Imran during the party primaries held on Saturday, September 7.
Here are some of the reactions:
Omitto said, “you guys get serious!!! 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 sasa mzee kamanda atawasaidia na nini? i wish you could focus on your campaigns without being bothered by jubilee”
“When did a nominated person become Strong?????” Nelson Kipkorir posed.
Nathaniel wrote, “Imran will win kibra seat not because of maina Kamandas support, his support is irrelevant. I’ll win cz of Ken okoths performance and great support of Baba Raila, he his the un disputed in kibra.”
Another tweep said, “isn’t this the same Kamanda who couldn’t win a nomination?? 🤣🤣🤣”
“Which boost surely for a nominated MP, ” Gicheru said.
Nancy Mweu shared similar views saying, “Boost na Maina Kamanda ni wapi na wapi?…he couldn’t get even a simple nomination in starehe…………!!!”
“Kipofu kuongoza Kipofu, Maajabu haya!!” another netizen opined.
Maureen Wambui said, “Strongman really?? He is just a nominated old fellow.”
Here are more reactions.
Oooh @TheODMparty now has a STRONGMAN. ( I thought that meant Dictator)
But let us assume they meant strong guy. Sijui, Jaguar tutamuita aje.
But hey, congratulations ODM for the boost…major boost, sorry. pic.twitter.com/FPzWOSeOAu
— Dennis Itumbi, HSC (@OleItumbi) September 19, 2019
are u hacked ??
— NjorogeKariuki (@wilsonnjoroge) September 19, 2019
He is a strongman but NOMINATED and not ELECTED. Very strong indeed.
— Tim Mutai (@mutai_tim) September 19, 2019
Ati strong man. Sometimes wacbeni jokes. That guy couldn't even get nominations from his own party
— Daniel Kitavi (@danielkitavi) September 19, 2019
"Jubilee strongman" laughs in Jaguar 😂😂😂😂
— Martin (@waiharowaweru) September 19, 2019