NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – The win in Msambweni mini poll by Feisal Bader, who went for the seat with backing from Deputy President William Ruto, is by all means significant to all political players in the country.
For Ruto and his Tanga Tanga brigade, it signifies their strength and influence on the ground at a time of a tough political war with the Kieleweke wing that leans towards President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Despite allegations of massive voter bribery by the Ruto tea, the win is significant to the Kieleweke team that teamed up with Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party whose leader Raila Odinga shook hands with Kenyatta in March 2018, effectively throwing Ruto off balance in the ruling party’s governance matrix.
Analysts have said this victory of the Ruto-backed candidate is a wake up call to Kieleweke and Odinga because ODM candidate Omar Boga was touted to win the seat left vacant by Suleiman Dori who succumbed to COVID-19 in March.
Feisal was declared winner by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC) with 15, 251 votes while his closest challenger, Omar Boga of the Raila Odinga-led Orange Democratic Movement party got 10,444 votes.
In the face of defeat, ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna said the party will now regroup and forge ahead, for upcoming political tasks including other by-elections.
“Thanks to all our teams everywhere for the great effort,” he tweeted.
But for Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi, “Kenyans should be inspired by the outcome while making their decision on the Building Bridges Initiative Constitution Amendment Bill.”
Kenyatta and Odinga are rallying Kenyans to fully support the Bill borne out of their March 2018 handshake, with a national referendum now set for mid next year.
Suna East legislator Junet Mohammed had expressed optimism of a Boga win by a landslide on the mere fact that he enjoyed President Kenyatta and the ODM leader’s support.
Social media was awash with all manner of comments Wednesday following the Msambweni by-election results.
There are those who believe the by-election was marred by voter bribery that led to the win by the Independent candidate.
Odinga had told his supporters a win in the poll will be a win for the anticipated constitutional amendments under BBI.