Weekly Citizen

Political drums go silent as IEBC moves by-elections due to Corona menace – Weekly Citizen

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has postponed all by-elections that were to be held beginning end of this month. The elections have been moved forward indefinitely due to the corona virus outbreak, with the IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati pointing out that it would be impossible to hold the elections without exposing the public to the risk of contracting the contagious virus because social distance will be compromised. Additionally, Chebukati said President Uhuru Kenyatta had declared a dusk to dawn national curfew, limiting the
movement of everyone except those designated as essential and critical services providers. Among affected areas
which were preparing to hold elections is Msambweni constituency in Kwale county. The constituents were to pick a new MP following the death of Suleiman Dori.

The late Msambweni MP Suleiman Dori

Within Coast, there were also to be elections in two electoral wards namely Dabaso in Kilifi county and in Wundanyi/Mbale ward. In Dabaso, the seat fell vacant after the Court of Appeal ruled that IEBC erred in declaring Emmanuel Changawa the winner in the 2017 general election. And in Wundanyi/Mbale ward in Taita Taveta county, the area MCA Beatrice Mwabili died of gallbladder cancer. She had made history as the first elected woman MCA in the county whose governor is Granton Samboja. And outside Coast, in Kisumu North ward, the seat fell vacant when the area MCA Elisha Oraro was elected the Speaker of the county assembly of Kisumu in January while Kahawa Wendani residents were to go to the polls to choose a new MCA following the abrupt death of area MCA Cyrus Omondi.

The late Cyrus Omondi

The postponement of the elections has caught many unawares including political brokers who were ready to make a killing. The Dabaso ward by-election which was slated to be held on 29th of this month had Dickson Karani of ODM as a front-runner. He was being fronted by Lands chief administrative secretary Gideon Mung’aro. He will now be forced back to the drawing table since the long wait could change his political fortunes. In Msambweni, ODM political brokers have been left licking their boots after the postponement since the aspirants will hold back the millions of shillings for the campaigns. The ODM ticket is the most sought after due to the support the party enjoys in the area. Former MCA Omar Boga stood high chances of getting the ODM ticket to square it out with Jubilee candidate Bakari Sebe and Wiper’s Shee Abdulrahaman.

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