Bitter Raila-Ruto fight for Kibra ‘bedroom’

The third day and first Sunday of November saw the dusty streets of Kibra constituency, Nairobi, considered to be former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s “bedroom (stronghold)”, painted red and orange. Woodley Stadium was turned orange by ODM party diehards, while DC Grounds, where hundreds of Jubilee Party supporters gathered, was red.

Deputy President William Ruto, addressing the gathering at DC Grounds, exuded confidence that Jubilee Party candidate McDonald Mariga would carry the day in the Kibra by-election.

“We have no doubt that come 7th November you will vote and Mariga will become your Member of Parliament,” Ruto said.

He aimed jabs at ODM leader Odinga, who was the area’s MP for over 20 years. Ruto said Odinga has no development agenda for the constituents, a majority of whom are slum dwellers.

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At Woodley Stadium, Odinga took to the podium to accuse the Deputy President of hypocrisy. He said Ruto was only in pilot entry into Nairobi political arithmetic and has no interest in development.

“He has been the deputy president for eight years and yet he has not done what he is promising, what makes you think he will do anything now?” Odinga posed, as the crowd wildly cheered.

He also accused Ruto of bribing people to vote for Mariga, asking his supporters to take the money but only vote Imran.

Kibra constituency has been Odinga’s bastion, with constituents taking instructions from him. It has been turned into a battle ground for the coming by-election, following the handshake between President Kenyatta and Odinga.

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Robert Mwangi

I am a professional journalist trained at Kenya Institute of Mass Communication, with experience in reporting; Current Affairs, Human Interest and General News. Let's connect and engage on Facebook ( Journalist Robert Mwangi) and Twitter (@robertmwangi254)