A clash is expected between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga in the upcoming Bonchari by-election which is slated for May 18, 2021.
The two parties have fielded candidates in the upcoming by-elections with former Energy Petroleum Regulatory Commission (EPRA) Deputy General Pavel Oimeke running on an ODM ticket and former legislature Zebedeo Opore on a Jubilee ticket.
In recent by-elections, the two parties have been fielding candidates together, often ceding ground depending on who has a better chance in the by-election. UDA, a party affiliated with Deputy President William Ruto, has in the recent by-elections been competing against the Jubilee/ODM candidates.
However, the Bonchari by-election is proving to be a different ball game as Jubilee wants ODM to pull out of the by-election and vice versa. Jubilee argues that it has fronted a strong candidate while ODM believes that the region is its political stronghold.
“These are discussions going on because, honestly, Jubilee has the stronger candidate. We will persuade them to drop their candidature in favour of Jubilee,” Jubilee deputy secretary-general Joshua Kutuny stated.
National Assembly minority leader John Mbadi, however, stated that if the two parties were to go to the polls, the handshake would not be affected.
One Kenya Alliance team consisting of Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, KANU leader Gideon Moi, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetangula, have vowed to help Jubilee clinch the seats in upcoming by-elections.
“We will campaign for Jubilee. In fact, if they invite us, we may show them some tricks that we employ and it shall be well,” Kalonzo bragged referring to the win in the Machakos senatorial seat where Agnes Kavindu beat her UDA opponents.
Moi added that the One Kenya Alliance team would pull out of the elections to give Jubilee a sure win.
The seat fell vacant on February 15 this year following the demise of MP John Oroo Oyioka who succumbed to a long illness.
Alliances have started to align ahead of the 2022 general elections. There are rumours that the DP and Odinga might consider working together, saying that they have similar goals.
On the other hand, Odinga still insists that the handshake between him and the president is intact.