In the past years when ODM and the ruling Jubilee party were still at loggerheads, a common trick that the government would employ in order to disenfranchise opposition voters, and at the same time make sure the government wins, was that it would encourage flower farm managers not to release their workers to vote, and since majority of the workers are from opposition strongholds in the country and support ODM, this would greatly damage the numbers expected for the party.
However, this time round, the tables have turned, and a huge turnout of flower farm workers will be a major boost for the Jubilee candidate.
In what is certain to be a huge game changer, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, IEBC, has written to all flower farms in Hellsgate Ward asking them to allow their employees to go and vote today. This is seen as a huge boost for the Jubilee party candidate.
This is because in the run up to the election, other parties such as ODM and KANU have pulled out of the Nakuru County by-elections, with ODM’s withdrawal being more impactful after they told their supporters to back the Jubilee Candidate. Hellsgate Ward has a total of 24, 000 registered voters, majority of who voted for the Jubilee candidate in the 2017 general elections. This time, however, the dynamics have changed, with Jubilee voters now split between the Jubilee candidate, and Joseph Warothe, who is the UDA candidate.
UDA is associated with Deputy President William Ruto and his wing of Jubilee MPs sympathetic to his cause, and nicknamed tanga tanga, while Jubilee party loyalists go by the moniker Kieleweke, and this has split the once solid Hellsgate Ward vote right down in the middle.
Naivasha has an estimated thirty thousand flower farm workers population, majority hailing from the Western side of Kenya and pledging allegiance to opposition parties. IEBC senior official in the ward, David Mbui, has exuded confidence of conducting a successful and worthy exercise.