Nominated Member of Parliament Maina Kamanda has thrown his weight behind Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) candidate in the Kibra parliamentary by-election Bernard Otieno Okoth popularly known as Imran.
Kamanda, who is a Jubilee party legislator, said he was glad Imran was in the race and pledged to campaign for him in the honour and respect of the immediate MP Ken Okoth who was his colleague in both the 11th and 12th Parliament.
Speaking to People Daily on Thursday, the veteran politician hinted that leaders allied to the Kieleweke faction will also rally behind Imran whom he branded as the 'Handshake candidate'.
Handshake refers to the March 9, 2018 peace deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM party leader Raila Odinga.
“I am happy that ODM has nominated the late Ken Okoth’s brother as its candidate for the Kibra seat. That makes it even easier for me to support him, because he is my former colleague’s brother and most of us who are allied to the President regard him as the Handshake candidate," Kamanda said.
Even before the Jubilee flag bearer in the Kibra race McDonald Mariga was disqualified by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Kamanda had opposed his candidature, claiming he was Deputy President William Ruto's project.
“The candidate Jubilee Party picked has been imposed on the party by Ruto. He is Ruto’s candidate and not Jubilee’s. I am for a candidate who will be announced by ODM,” the former Starehe MP said last week.
Mariga's candidature was invalidated on Tuesday after his name missed in the IEBC voter's register. He has since appealed the ruling.
The by-election is slated for November 7, 2019.