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DECEMBER 15 BY-ELECTION

Mwashetani, Tayari support Ruto's Bader in Msambweni poll

They have openly vowed to back the independent candidate to win the hotly contested parliamentary seat.

In Summary
  • Lunga Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani and his Kinango counterpart Benjamin Tayari vowed to support Bader win the Msambweni seat.
  • Governor Salim Mvurya and his deputy Fatuma Achani have also shown interest in supporting Bader.
Lunga Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani addresses Kinango residents in Kwale
CAMPAIGN: Lunga Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani addresses Kinango residents in Kwale
Image: SHABAN OMAR
Kinango MP Benjamin Tayari campaigns in Mbita, Kinango subcounty
SUPPORT: Kinango MP Benjamin Tayari campaigns in Mbita, Kinango subcounty
Image: SHABAN OMAR

Campaigns for the Msambweni by-election have heated up with Lunga Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani and his Kinango counterpart Benjamin Tayari supporting independent candidate Feisal Bader.

The two MPs are expected to lead Bader to present his nomination papers to the IEBC in Kwale. The two, who were close friends of the late Msambweni MP Suleiman Dori, openly vowed to back their own and defend the hotly contested parliamentary seat.

Bader is related to Dori and once served as his personal assistant. The seat became vacant after Dori succumbed to cancer in March.

Bader will also be accompanied by a section of Tangatanga members allied to Deputy President William Ruto. They include former senators from Mombasa Hassan Omar, Kakamega's Boni Khalwale, Johnson Muthama (Machakos) and Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wah.

Last week, Ichung’wah and others were blocked by Diani police from accessing a venue in Ukunda meant to back Bader.

It is evident that Msambweni by-election has brewed a strong battle between three political titans. It is a political war between the ODM leader Raila Odinga, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka and Ruto.

Kalonzo’s last visit to the Coast is what spurred other leaders to tighten their belts for battle. Soon after Wiper fielded its candidate Shee Abdulrahman Mahmoud, a businessman in Msambweni, other parties began to fortify their territories.

Kalonzo promised to beat Raila and Ruto at their own game.

Raila, shaken by Wiper’s move, decided to restrategise. His team was weak and exhausted after losing some of his warriors, Mariam Sharlete and Bader, in a cold war before the nominations.

Immediately after Omar Boga won the ODM nominations against his old friend Nicholas Zani, Raila moved to lure Zani, stopping him from abandoning ship.

Zani, who conceded defeat minutes after Boga was announced the winner, had developed a bad attitude against the party. He complained that the nominations were unfair and marred by treachery.

“The turnout was low because thousands of voters from my strongholds of Gombato, Ukunda and Mivumoni were turned away,” he said.

Rumour has it that Zani wanted to go independent but the ODM leader got wind of it and cut a deal with him.

Ruto, who decided to support Bader after the Jubilee Party refused to field a candidate, focused on the lone warriors.

He got hold of Bashir Kilalo who was dumped by Wiper, Bakari Sebe and Peter Nzuki who wanted to vie for the Msambweni parliamentary seat.

Sebe, the county executive for Finance, shied from the race after the competition became tough.

Ruto is expecting to use their supporters to garner extra votes in the by-election as he secures himself good political ground to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2022 General Election.

The DP has also managed to win the support of Governor Salim Mvurya and his deputy Fatuma Achani. Mvurya’s speech on Monday at Kinondo proved that he will stand with Bader.

“Bader is midfield eight. I believe when I pass the ball to Achani, to your MCA who will cross it back to him, he will definitely score,” he said.

Kalonzo has promised a bruising battle in the by-election. He has chosen former Transport minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere, Tip Tip founder Kalembe Ndile and former Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti to beat Raila and Ruto come December 15.

Edited by Henry Makori