Former Harambee Stars player McDonald Mariga will fly Jubilee Party’s flag in the Kibra by-election. The party made the announcement yesterday even as he dismissed claims of a ‘hidden hand’ in his move to contest. The poll is set for November 7.
The footballer said he made the decision to try his hand in politics after thorough soul-searching and consultation with his family.
“That’s my decision and I’m not being pushed by anyone. There is no influence. I decided, together with the family, that I try it,” he said.
Mariga was among 16 hopefuls interviewed yesterday by Jubilee National Elections Board (NEB) for the party ticket.
Mariga will face ANC’s Eliud Owalo, Ford Kenya’s Khamisi Butichi and an ODM candidate. The Orange party will hold its nomination on Saturday.
Mariga’s decision to seek the party ticket had divided the giant ruling party down the middle, with claims DP William Ruto was pushing for his candidacy.
The 11-member NEB was also said to have been split, with some favouring the footballer’s candidature because of his support base in the constituency. Yesterday’s session was attended by only six board members.
But it would seem those in Jubilee against his candidature are bound to grow. Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria has already endorsed an ODM Candidate via a Facebook post.
“Moses Kuria· 8 hrs · The problem with Kibra constituency has been political tourism and slum tourism. My late friend Ken Okoth was born in Kibra hence his deep passion to uplift the lives of Kibra people. I have challenged my friend Ronnie Osumba to create a Born in Kibra (BIK) movement to bring together people who manage to break off from the challenges of Kibra and make it in life to go back and help lift Kibra from the yoke of poverty.
Political tourists and slum tourists will not help Kibra. The person I vouch for to take forward from where Ken left is another Born in Kibra, Benson Musungu ” Kuria wrote.
Activist Boniface Mwangi has also come out to blatantly warn Kenyans against electing the likes of McDonald Mariga.
He went on to term Mariga a bad influence on the youth as he pointed out the footballer’s past endorsements. According to Boniface, residents of two constituencies in Nairobi were already feeling the effects of electing poor leaders.
“Kibra people, learn from Starehe and Langata.They decided to elect socialites and they’re now suffering. Mariga’s contribution to the Kenyan youth was to get them addicted to gambling. He has billboards across Kenya promoting betting. Don’t send such a person to parliament,” he tweeted.
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