Deputy President William Ruto has dismissed claims that the Kibra by-election is a supremacy battle between him and Raila Odinga.
He said the mini-poll was an opportunity for Kibra residents to elect a leader who will serve them for the next three years.
Dr Ruto urged politicians involved in the by-election to shun inciting residents, and allow them to exercise their democratic right freely.
“Let no one confuse you that this by-election is a contest between Raila, Ruto and Musalia (Mudavadi). The race is between MacDonald Mariga, Eliud Owalo, Imran Okoth and other candidates,” he said.
He spoke on Tuesday at Mash Park Hotel, in Kibra during a meeting with members of the Divine church of Africa from Kibra.
The meeting saw Makina MCA Solomon Magembe and his followers decamp from ANC candidate Eliud Owalo to back Macdonald Mariga.
The Deputy President was accompanied by MPs Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East), Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo), Nixon Korir (Lang’ata), John Kiarie (Dagoretti South) and Millicent Omanga (Nominated).
He called for peaceful campaigns in the by-election.
“We want this contest to be peaceful, and devoid of name-calling so that the people of Kibra can decide without interference on the best candidate,” explained Dr Ruto.
He added that Mr Mariga had the full backing of Jubilee party leadership led by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“We support Mr Mariga because he was raised in the same conditions as the people of Kibra; he does not need to be told about the needs of Kibra.”
He said even before the by-elections, Mr Mariga had shown his desire to empower the people of Kibra.
Dr Ruto said Mr Mariga’s victory would give the Government ample opportunity to implement development projects in the area without party politics.
“The projects we have done in Kibra faced a lot of opposition; we could not work freely with former MP the late Ken Okoth because his party would question his loyalty,” observed Dr Ruto.
His sentiments were echoed by Mr Washiali who said Mr Mariga will make it easy for the Government to address the needs of Kibra residents.
“If you vote for Mr Mariga, we will have a bridge that will enable us to come to Kibra as Government to transform your lives.”
Mr Kiarie said Jubilee Party leaders were ready to team up with Mr Mariga to transform Kibra constituency.
“The Government has been looking for someone to work with in Kibra with no success. Vote for my fellow youth so that we can work together to empower youth in Kibra,” said the Dagoretti South legislator.
Meanwhile, Ms Jumwa dismissed reports by a section of the media that she would back ODM’s candidate in the Kibra by-election.
“I was ambushed. But this is where my heart is. I have always been clear on where I stand.”
Ms Jumwa said ODM was panicking after sensing defeat in the upcoming by-election.
“The panic is real,” she said.