On Wednesday, September 18 would have ended like any other day had Jubilee candidate for Kibra McDonald Mariga not visited State House and assured of support from the Jubilee party leader President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mariga who was in the company of youthful legislators even got a shoulder bump from the President with the Deputy President William Ruto, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, Jubilee Chief Whip Benjamin Washiali and Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju relishing the moment.
A firm handshake and crowning with a party cap confirmed the former Inter Millan midfielder as the Jubilee man in the Kibra race.
The social media was immediately set abuzz, with a section of supporters of the handshake between Uhuru and opposition leader Raila Odinga describing the President’s endorsement of Mariga “a surprise.”
Some supporters of Mariga’s opponents in Kibra November 7 poll even suggested going back to the drawing board as the impact of President’s endorsement could not be downplayed.
But Mariga’s journey ever since he declared interest to run for the seat has not been easy.
His nomination by Jubilee had been invalidated by IEBC on premise his details were missing from 2017 voter roll.
But all troubles seemed to have dissipated after he was declared eligible to contest on Monday, September 16.
Others in the Kibra by-election race include Eliud Owalo who will contest on Amani National Congress, ODM’s Bernard Imran Okoth and Ford-Kenya’s aspirant Khamisi Butichi among other candidates.
The Kibra seat fell vacant following death of Ken Okoth who succumbed to cancer in July.