Who will win,CORD or Amani in Bungoma?

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Bungoma, Kenya: Two coalition rivals have engaged in a show of might as campaigns closed for the Bungoma Senatorial by-election to be held on Thursday.

Coalition for Democracy and Reforms (CORD) and the Amani coalition drew daggers on each other on the final day of campaigns in Bungoma town when leaders from the two coalitions exchanged bitter words over claims of vote rigging. And in Bomachoge Borabu constituency, Kisii County, where voters also go to polls tomorrow to elect their MP, candidates opted for door-to-door campaigns to win over voters.

CORD leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka led over 20 MPs and Senators to press for the re-election of Moses Wetang’ula who lost his seat after an election court nullified his election in the March 4, General Election. The CORD team, which braved afternoon showers that pounded Kanduyi Stadium, told off the rival Amani coalition led by former Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi that was campaigning for Musikari Kombo over vote rigging claims.

“Mr Mudavadi said today that we want to steal votes. Amani coalition is better placed to state how. It is them who know what they have planned,” said Mr Raila drawing loud cheers. Mudavadi made the final pitch for Mr Kombo, the New Ford Kenya candidate, during a rally at the Posta grounds in the heart of Bungoma town. “We are aware of elaborate plans to rig this election and we want to inform IEBC that they should be alert,” Mudavadi said, as the team capped the day’s events that had began in Webuye, through Ndalu in Tongaren, Kamukuywa and Kimilili.

NFK leader Eugene Wamalwa and a host of MPs allied to Amani coalition also claimed CORD had planned to rig the by-election after sensing defeat. “Sh12 million has been set aside for “Operation Nunua Kura. The operation will be in Amani strongholds,” Mudavadi’s press secretary Kibisu Kabatesi had claimed earlier in a statement sparking a furious reaction from CORD. Raila, the former Prime Minister, rejected the claims saying only the Amani coalition could shed light on the alleged scheme.

The ODM leader said he “rescued” Mudavadi who he described as his friend after current Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga trounced him in 2002 for the Sabatia constituency seat. Raila wondered why Mudavadi was seeking ‘refuge’ in the Jubilee government.

The Jubilee government, Raila claimed, had started showing signs of inability to govern. He challenged Kenyans to reject plans by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government to tax them heavily, gag the media and stifle NGOs.

“We as CORD have been fighting for the rights of the people. Jubilee have showed signs of their inability to govern through the introduction of draconian laws that will soon see us back in the days of one party rule,” Raila said. He added: “They first begun by increasing VAT on commodities, they have now introduced laws that would see police shoot Kenyans without any guidelines.” Citing the onslaught against the media and NGOs, the former Prime Minister said: “Next time they will come for you.

I can see us going back to the old days when Kenya had single party rule.” Wetang’ula exuded confidence he will triumph and claimed that the Jubilee government was trying to block his re-election so he does not resume his position as Senate Minority Leader. “I speak without contradiction that the people of Bungoma have already decided that I will be back in the Senate,” Wetang’ula said. But Eugene said Kombo would secure the victory he claimed he was robbed of in the March 4 polls.

“Our vote was stolen on March 4, because of voter bribery, and election malpractice, among other factors. CORD should stop, therefore, comparing this election to that of Makueni because it was occasioned by the death of Senator Mutula Kilonzo,” Eugene said. Kombo added: “A vote for Kombo is a vote for development, it’s a vote for security and a vote for peace in Bungoma County.” Journalist David Makali, an Independent candidate, made his final door-to-door campaigns in Kanduyi and sold his candidature as generational change.

“I am campaigning on a platform of change and will hit the trail later in the evening to sell my policies,” he said. Bifwoli Wakoli, who is vying on Labour Party of Kenya, was in Mayanja area, where he called upon the electorate to consider his candidature. “I am the best of them all. When elected, I will be able to revive the ailing sugar industry and bring development to our county,” he said. Meanwhile, voters in Bomachoge Borabu constituency also go to polls tomorrow to elect their MP.  The by-election in Nyaribari Chache was rescheduled to December 30.
-standardmedia.co.ke

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