• Mariga's entry into the contest and strong backing by DP Ruto has brought out the vulnerability of ODM.
• Kibra electorate is changing, old voters tend to favour the status quo while the younger tend to disrupt the norm.
The name Kibra was synonymous with ODM leader Raila Odinga. He needed no campaign, just mentioning the name of his preferred candidate spread awe and fear to the opponents.
Those who tried their luck in the constituency have a story to tell. But things seem to have gone full circle. That the ODM leader is pulling all stops to retain a seat that in all fairness was supposed to be his bedroom shows a party leader who is struggling to relive the past.
Former football star McDonald Mariga’s entry into the contest and the strong backing by DP William Ruto has fleshed out the kind of vulnerability the ODM leader is now faced with. While career politicians may not admit it, the composition of the electorates that keeps changing every time means that the aspirations of the voters need new thinking that electorates believe may only be found in a new crop of leadership.
That’s the reason old voters tend to favour the status quo while the younger tend to disrupt the norm. With this in mind and the realisation that other unforeseen factors could be at play in Kibra, Raila is doing the unthinkable–marshalling forces that in normal circumstances would be seeking his permission to tour the constituency–to help him clinch the seat left behind by Ken Okoth.
This seems to ring the alarm bells and the rattling in Kibra is another manifestation of the fatigue that comes with the longevity and monotony. While the unlikely candidates and parties are savouring the newfound warmth and limelight, the grand old ODM is realising late in the day that nothing should be taken for granted.
Even a narrow win by any other party will go a long way in sending shivers to a party that dominated Kibra politics for years.
Economic and political analyst