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BY-ELECTION LOSSES

ODM believes in democracy

Stones and sticks are thrown only at fruit-bearing trees

In Summary

• In 2017, two seats in the heart of Ruto’s home went to Independent candidates; the media has never talked about this

• 'We live in a world where finding fault in others seems to be the favorite blood sport'

Deputy President William Ruto and ODM party leader Raila Odinga
ANTAGONISTS: Deputy President William Ruto and ODM party leader Raila Odinga
Image: File

The people of Ugenya and Embakasi South constituencies last Friday made their decision to return David Ochieng’ and Julius Mawathe to Parliament.

Ochieng’ successfully challenged the election of Christopher Karan, who trounced him for the Ugenya seat in a closely contested August 8, 2017, General Election.

Mawathe retained the seat that fell vacant following a successful petition by former Embakasi South MP Irshadali Sumra.

In an election there are two possible outcomes; a win and a loss. Period. I have read in the mainstream and social media a narrative doing the rounds that it is the first time ODM is losing a seat in its stronghold.

Some media outlets have tried to portray the loss in Ugenya as a big blow to ODM leader Raila Odinga. Nothing can be further from the truth. In the 11th Parliament, ODM lost the Kisumu West parliamentary seat to Ford Kenya candidate Olago Aluoch in the March 4, 2013, General Election.

In the same polls, ODM lost the Alego Usonga seat to Wiper's Omondi Mulwan. ODM also lost the Awendo parliamentary seat to Ford-K’s Jared Kopiyo and the Muhoroni seat to PDP's Onyango Koyoo, who has since rejoined the party.

Out of the six ward seats in Alego Usonga contested in 2013, ODM only won two.

The Migori governor seat was in 2013 won by PDP’s Okoth Obado, who defected to ODM ahead of the 2017 polls.

Whether or not Ruto sent millions of shillings to fund the MP-elect, the conviction of the people on the ground remains clear: Their natural leader is Raila and this fact cannot change

In 2017, ODM also failed to win the Kisumu East parliamentary seat, which was retained by Shakeel Shabbir, an independent candidate. Kisumu West was retained by Aluoch and both are serving their third terms.  

Contrary to media reports that it is the first time ODM has lost a parliamentary seat in Raila’s home county, the Alego Usonga seat was and is still in Siaya.

The biggest lie that continues to be spread around by the media and those on social media is that Deputy President William Ruto handed Raila a resounding defeat in the Ugenya by-election. 

Whether or not Ruto sent millions of shillings to fund the MP-elect, the conviction of the people on the ground remains clear: Their natural leader is Raila and this fact cannot change. ODM accepts the loss and congratulates Ochieng’ and wishes him well.

In the last general election, two seats in the heart of Ruto’s home, Turbo and Ainabkoi constituencies, went to Independent candidates. The media has never talked about this.

Kenyans have been forced to believe that Willliam Chepkut, who beat DP’s right-hand man Samuel Chepkonga, is a Jubilee legislator. They also have been forced to believe Janet Sitienei, the MP for Turbo, is a Jubilee MP. No.

Wiper and Ford Kenya leaders accused ODM of imposing a candidate on Mawathe in Embakasi South and claimed it was their stronghold. Let me jog their memories.

When the two rejected calls for joint nominations ahead of the  2017 General Election, ODM, in the spirit of brotherhood and coalition partnership, left Bungoma county to Ford-K.

Out of the nine parliamentary seats, Ford-K, which now claims Embakasi South to be its stronghold, only managed three seats. ODM left Garissa county to Wiper, which I doubt won even a single seat.

As Henry Bennion Eyring, an American educationist and author, said, “We live in a world where finding fault in others seems to be the favorite blood sport. It has long been the basis of political campaign strategy. It is the theme of much television programming across the world. It sells newspapers. Whenever we meet anyone, our first, almost unconscious reaction may be to look for imperfections.”

Stones and sticks are thrown only at fruit-bearing trees.

Director of Communications, ODM 

@Etalephilip