A former Malindi MP Willy Mtengo has intensified campaigns for the ODM candidate in Ganda ward by-election as he wards off intense onslaught from incumbent MP Aisha Jumwa who has vowed to grab the seat through an independent candidate.
Mtengo with the support of other ODM officials have been making door-to-door campaigns in Ganda ward pushing for the victory of Reuben Katana, the party candidate. Jumwa on the other has so far avoided public rallies and prefers to address delegations at her Kakuyuni home pleading with voters to consider her candidate Abdulrahaman Omar.
A survey in Ganda ward last week revealed that ODM is the party of choice in the area and that Jumwa must work overtime to change the voters’ mindset. An opinion poll commissioned by Jumwa team and seen by Weekly Citizen has shown that the ODM candidate was ahead by 57pc followed by the MP’s independent candidate Omar who has 40pc.
This is despite the fact that Kilifi governor Amason Kingi has given the campaigns a wide berth leaving his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho in total confusion. Through the advice of ODM grassroots campaigners in the ward, Joho has restrained from entering the campaign trail without Kingi.
Instead, Joho is being represented by his deputy William Kingi who hails from Malindi and his adviser Rashid Bedzimba to portray the Mijikenda face as opposed to Swahili and Arab which Jumwa eagerly wants to capitalise on to whip up emotions against the ODM candidate.
Joho fears that if his candidate loses the seat, it would impact negatively on the widely held believe that he is the political kingpin of Coast politics and at the same time damage the bragging rights of ODM as the party of choice in the region.
“If ODM loses this seat, the media headlines would say Joho has been beaten in Malindi and you will not see people like Governor Kingi being mentioned anywhere. So that is why you have to do everything possible for the ODM candidate to carry the day for my sake and that of the party,” Joho told a meeting of a section party MCAs in Malindi recently.
The by-election is slated for October 17 with ODM party leader Raila Odinga expected to campaign for the candidate in the last week towards the election.