With less than two months remaining before the much anticipated Msamweni parliamentary by-election, Deputy President William Ruto’s preferred Independent candidate Faisal Abdallah could be headed for an early lead after three other contestants withdrew their candidature to support him.
Taking to his social media sites on Sunday evening, Ruto, who has since defied his Jubilee party stand not to field any candidate in the constituency, revealed that the three; Bashir Kilalo, Peter Nzuki and Bakari Sebe, after wider consultations decided to back Faisal.
Ruto, who is seen as the key deal broker, thanked the three, saying they had shown great respect to the independent candidate by shelving aside their ambitions to support him.
“Grateful to witness the partnership forged by the Msambweni by-election aspirants in favour of independent candidate Faisal Abdalla Bader. Our sincere gratitude to Bashir Kilalo, Peter Nzuki and Bakari Sebe for their courage and leadership to forego their ambitions and support Faisal in the race,” he stated.
At the same time, the DP revealed he also met the grassroots leaders and supporters to the three aspirants in Nairobi in the company of a section of coast MPs who have been rooting for Faisal’s candidature.
The legislators were led by Aisha Jumwa (Malindi) and former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar among others.
“Met Msambweni grassroot leaders and supporters of Mr Sebe, Mr Kilalo and Mr Nzuki, Nairobi County, in the company of MPs Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), George Theuri (Embakasi West), Nixon Korir (Lang’ata), former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar and former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama,” he added.
Ruto’s adamant support for the independent candidate in the constituency has elicited mixed reactions among members of the Kieleweke faction of Jubilee party, who have come out to accuse Ruto of openly defying the party’s stand.
Jitters and blame games emanated shortly after Feisal visited the DP at his Karen residence in the company of Members of Parliament from the coast region among them Nyali’s Mohammed Ali, Kilifi North’s Owen Mbaya, Lungalunga’s Khatib Mwashetani, Lamu East’s Athman Shariff, and Malindi’s Aisha Jumwa.
Jubilee, through its Secretary-General Raphael Tuju, announced it was not going to field a candidate as one way of avoiding possible collision with its handshake partner ODM party, a decision that was not readily embraced by the DP.
Ruto insisted that he was not consulted before the decision was made but reluctantly agreed with the decision. He, however, insisted that he will not shy off from supporting a candidate of his choice since the ruling party was not fielding an aspirant.
Ruto, through Feisal, will be expected to flex muscles with his bitter competitor Raila Odinga, who will be rooting for ODM candidate Gombato/Bongwe MCA Omar Boga to capture the seat that was left vacant after the death of Suleiman Dori.
The by-election will be conducted on 15 December 2020.