The by-elections in Ugenya and Embakasi South have been a blow to Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement, which lost in both constituencies. The biggest blow to the former prime minister is having lost the Ugenya seat which is in his ‘stronghold’ and ODM was more likely to win.
In Embakasi South, Wiper’s Julius Mawathe garnered 21,628 votes to win against ODM candidate Irshad Sumra’s 7,988 while in Ugenya, Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG)’s David Ochieng’ garnered 18,730 votes against ODM’s Chris Karan’s 14,507.
Kenyans on social media have expressed their opinions with some saying it is a sign that Deputy President William Ruto is slowly taking over ODM strongholds. The DP himself received the results of the by-elections with delight and couldn’t help but take to social media to congratulate the winners in both elections.
“CONGRATULATIONS Ochieng (Ugenya) & Mawathe (Embakasi) for your God given victory. Jameni wacheni MUNGU aitwe MUNGU. The hustler nation has spoken, the people have decided. GLORY TO THE ALMIGHTY GOD,” read the DP’s tweet.
In the by-election campaigns in Ugenya, ODM MPs from Nyanza had told voters that voting for David Ochieng’ would mean that they were voting for Ruto. Well, as far as the by-elections are concerned, Ruto seems to have already taken over Ugenya ahead of his 2022 presidential elections.
Ruto’s allies in the likes of Kipchumba Murkomen have also taken to social media to celebrate the win. Murkomen did not hide his celebratory comments with his tweet. “Someone please tell me Hon. David Ochieng is winning Ugenya. Please,” Murkomen tweeted on Friday night as the elections results were yet to be confirmed.
Lawyer Miguna Miguna who is also Raila Odinga’s former advisor turned critic also took some shots at him.
“Let me congratulate David Ochieng’ for winning the Ugenya seat against Raila Odinga and Mwathe for his victory in Embakasi South where Raila Odinga had camped for days. Kenyans are alert and marching on against despots and all their collaborators. #SayNoToDespotism,” Miguna tweeted in his congratulatory message.
“Congratulations David Ochieng and Julius Mawathe for winning mini elections in Ugenya and Embakasi South respectively. Our support and prayers were not in vain. Mungu halali, hasahau wala hachoki!!!” Bungoma Senator and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula tweeted.
#AsanteRuto is the top trending topic on Twitter in Kenya on Saturday.
“ODM dragged Ruto’s name into these by elections. Well, it’s only fair that Ruto’s name is dragged into the results. Ruto won or rather Ruto’s projects won..
#AsanteRuto Daktari anawatibu @WilliamsRuto @YouthR22 @TeamWiliamRuto,” Fary Abdi tweeted.
However, Raila’s supporters held a different view.
“Julius Mawathe retained his Embakasi South seat; David Ochieng retook Ugenya .. Their opponents didn’t lose …. You don’t lose what wasn’t yours …. You don’t win what was yours .. In Latin, it is ex nihilo nihil fit .. Nothing comes out of nothing .. Retaining isn’t victory,” Nairobi lawyer Donald Kipkorir tweeted.
“IT IS INCORRECT and untrue to argue that Raila lost Ugenya constituency. In 2017, Dave Ochieng won at the ballot. Subsequently, the High Court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court all nullified the declaration of his opponent as MP. The voters have confirmed that Dave was the man,” another lawyer Steve Ogolla said.
ODM Director of Communications Philip Etale, on his part, opted to eat humble pie and hailed the two for their victory.
@David_Ouma & @MMawathe on your election as MP Ugenya & Embakasi South respectively.”