The much-awaited Kibra parliamentary by-election could spell political doom for former Prime Minister Raila Odinga if his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party loses the seat, political analyst Macharia Munene has said
ODM's Imram Okoth who won the nomination exercise on Saturday will face stiff competition from Jubilee Party which has fielded soccer star McDonald Mariga.
Another candidate observers have warned against underestimating is Raila's former strategist Eliud Owalo who is vying on Musalia Mudavadi's Amani National Congress (ANC).
Munene says Raila's political star has been on the decline, noting if he loses the Kibra seat, he may be unable to rediscover his form during the more important 2022 polls if he decides to vie for the presidency.
The Professor of History and International Relations at the United States International University (USIU) said the main beneficiary of the mini-poll will be Deputy President William Ruto if Mariga wins or registers huge votes.
“Raila’s support has been eroding, not only in Kibra or Nairobi but in the entire country. The opponents, especially Ruto, will be trying to shake his [Raila’s] dominance and if he [Ruto] gets good numbers, then he will go into 2022 with a lot of strength,” Munene was quoted by the Star on Saturday.
ODM recently lost Embakasi South and Ugenya parliamentary seats to aspirants who were allegedly enjoying the DP's backing.
However, according to city lawyer Steve Ogolla, Kibra is an ODM zone and Raila (Baba) will have the last laugh.
"Baba commands a near fanatical following in Kibra. Until voters alter their loyalty, Raila Odinga's word will almost always be final," Ogolla said in a tweet.