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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,29TH JAN 2019-Questions now linger on whether the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will heed to the call by its partner party in the NASA Coalition Wiper to withdraw its candidate for the Embakasi South by-election slated for April 5.
Addressing the press conference on Tuesday at the party’s Headquarters in Karen, Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka said the ODM leadership should allow Wiper to retain the only seat they have in Nairobi in the spirit of the March 9 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
“I have made this point very plainly and I think (Irshad) Sumra can do this country a great favour. In fact, he would emerge a statesman if he was to say he went to the court and the court granted him his right but the people on the ground are angry. This is the only seat that Wiper has in Nairobi; if indeed the coalition means business, they should allow Wiper to retain this seat,” said Musyoka.
Wiper on Tuesday presented a direct ticket to Julius Mawathe whose election of August 8, 2017 was nullified by the Supreme Court last December citing irregularities.
Mawathe and his party leader Musyoka have called on Embakasi South constituents to turn out in large numbers and vote for him.
“I am so happy to have been given this ticket by my party and I want to appreciate the support I have received. I am now calling on my people in Embakasi South to turn out in numbers and do what they did in August 8, 2017. I want to assure them that this seat is still ours,” Mawathe said.
His appeal was echoed by Musyoka who is convinced Mawathe will retain the seat.
“We will win this overwhelmingly and I call even on employers to allow the people of Embakasi South to go and vote on that particular day. Turn out in large numbers and prove that indeed you were right when you first voted for our candidate Mawathe,” he urged.
It will be recalled that Mawathe’s victory was challenged by Sumra (ODM), a one-time Embakasi South MP who was also given a direct party ticket for the forthcoming by-election.