The electorate in Embakasi South and Ugenya constituencies will go to the ballot today in contests that were given a wide berth by leaders of rival parties.
Campaigns were left to foot soldiers whose wit and political prowess will be put under scrutiny after the winners are announced in the two polls.
In Embakasi South, the incumbent Julius Mawathe of Wiper is battling with former legislator Irshad Sumra of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) among 13 other contestants who include, Angela Mwikali (Thirdway Alliance), Jafferson Kasingu (Kanu) and Jairus Musyoka (Independent).
According to Embakasi South Returning Officer Abdikadir Ahmed, the campaigns ended peacefully with no cases of violence or malpractices.
“We are ready as we dispatch election material for 221 polling stations. We have not experienced violence so far and we are hopeful even during and after voting, it will remain calm,” he said.
The winner of the largest share of the 150,315-strong voters basket will find a full in-tray with residents expressing disappointment over unfulfilled campaign pledges.
“We are back to the ballot box with nothing to show for previous regimes. Our roads are in pathetic condition, lack of clean accessible water, poor drainage and sewer system,” John Mutua, a boda boda operator, said.
He is also quick to add that he will vote but has since lowered his expectations with politicians to avoid disappointments. Mary Kiarie, a small-scale trader at Pipeline Estate decried the high cost of living.
“It is making our life unbearable. Elections comes and go and the leaders continue to make empty promises,” she said.
But apart from residents’ expectations, supremacy battle between ODM and Wiper akin to sibling rivalry will be under microscope.
Earlier, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka drove a protest against ODM fielding a candidate claiming the seat belongs to the party.
The two parties, though in National Super Alliance (Nasa) have been at loggerheads after Kalonzo absconded the mock swearing in of Raila Odinga at Uhuru Park after the disputed election of 2017.
Raila remained out of the Embakasi South campaigns heaping burden on party lieutenants led by its secretary general Edwin Sifuna.
However, Kalonzo had, in several press conferences, drummed up support for Mawathe but did not conduct ground campaigns in the constituency.
Sifuna vowed to upstage their partner and snatch the only parliamentary seat they have in Nairobi. Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang’ earlier had told Wiper not to field a candidate if they expected to continue working with them.
But Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior said they would not relinquish the only Wiper seat in Nairobi.
The Supreme Court nullified the election of Mawathe on December 21, last year, on grounds that there was no evidence to support the results that the IEBC used to declare him winner.
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