Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and his Ford-Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula on Friday resolved to work together in the Kibra by-election in a move that will likely give the ODM candidate fresh headache.
The resolve to gang up against the ODM candidate, Mr Imran Okoth, signals the deteriorating relations between Orange party leader Raila Odinga and his allies in the 2017 polls.
Mr Musyoka announced that his party would support Ford-Kenya candidate Khamisi Butichi.
According to Mr Musyoka, who hosted Mr Wetang’ula at the Wiper party offices in Nairobi, his move to back Mr Butichi is to reciprocate Ford-Kenya’s decision not to field a candidate in the Embakasi South by-election this year. Wiper’s Julius Mawathe won the seat.
“Ford-Kenya and its leadership stood by our candidate in the Embakasi by-election, and we cannot take it for granted. My brotherhood with Senator Wetang’ula started in the 1980s when I joined politics,” he said.
Others in the race are footballer McDonald Mariga (Jubilee) and Eliud Owalo of Amani National Congress (ANC).
The two parties agreed to have Mr Butichi officially endorsed at a later date with the Ford-Kenya brigade expected to attend a pro-wiper event in Athi-River on Sunday.
The Bungoma senator, who was accompanied by Mr Butichi, deputy party leader Richard Onyonka and Kwanza MP Ferdinand Wanyonyi, expressed confidence that Mr Butichi will emerge victorious in the November 7 by-election.
“Our candidate is the strongest. From all the information gathered, I can assure my brother Kalonzo that this Kibra seat is no more a dream, we will carry the day,” he said.
Mr Wetang’ula said that contrary to reports that the by-election is a three-horse race between Mr Imran, Mr Mariga and Mr Owalo, the Ford Kenya candidate was the man to beat in the race.
“Although some parties may have the political and financial might, we have a lot of support on the ground and our supporters will vote for us come November 7,” he said.
Mr Wetang’ula and ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi have come under attack from Mr Odinga’s allies over their move to field candidates in the race, with ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna threatening to sever links with both parties citing betrayal.
But speaking during a memorial service for eight pupils who died this week at Precious Talents Top School, Mr Odinga maintained that Mr Okoth would triumph.
Mr Odinga introduced Mr Okoth to the crowd, declaring him the “Kibra MP-in-waiting”.
“Kibra is my house and my son Imran is here,” Mr Odinga said. Former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru also delved into the politics, accusing ‘outsiders’ of “coming to play in Baba’s bedroom”.