Despite initiating a spirited campaign in the already concluded Kibra by-election, Jubilee party candidate McDonald Mariga ‘succumbed’ to a humiliating defeat from the MP-elect Bernard Okoth, alias Imran.
Deputy President William Ruto on several occasions led his brigade in holding meetings and rallies to drum up support for their candidate.
The DP’s official residence in Karen was a welcomed zone for thousands of Kibra residents who took a turn, depending on the tribe, in meeting Ruto for a political talk in a bid to establish a solid base for Mariga.
A section of religious leaders drawn from African Devine Church once held a meeting with both the DP and Mariga at hotel in Nairobi to cement former football star’s support base.
Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa and his counterparts Nixon Korir (Lang’ata), John Kiarie (Dagoretti South), Didmus Barasa(Kimilili), Benjamin Washiali(Mumias East) and former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale were reportedly tasked with the coordination of campaign activities in Kibra.
The leaders led several meetings and accompanied Mariga during his door to door campaigns.
Many other Jubilee leaders joined them during their mega rallies and ensured heir candidate received enough support in their quest to snatch the seat from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party.
Even as majority of Jubilee party members worked hard for their candidate,one man, party leader President Uhuru Kenyatta, was visibly missing in action from the onset.
Despite endorsing Mariga at Statehouse President Uhuru never uttered a word concerning the Kibra election anywhere in the public.
No official communication was ever issued concerning his opinion on the by-election.
As a result both Jubilee party and ODM boasted of his support to their respective candidates.
When Jubilee, on one hand, said President Uhuru supported Mariga both financially and politically, on the other hand, ODM claimed Imran was a candidate representing the Handshake deal between the president and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
But still, the head of state kept mum and never disputed nor supported the allegations. He simply went on with his business seemingly unaware whether there was a by-election in Kibra.
Even at Statehouse while endorsing Mariga, Uhuru never spoke anything about the poll to the media.
His loyal political fanbase were ostensibly torn between Handshake candidate and the Jubilee candidate.
All in all, Mariga soldiered own, fought a good fight, kept the faith and lost honourably without his party leader endorsing him verbally in public.
Well, that is all water under the bridge but the question that begs for an answer: is Uhuru to blame for Mariga’s defeat? Your guess is as good as mine.