ODM party leader Raila Odinga has asked Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua to rally the Kamba community living in Kibra, Nairobi, to campaign for its candidate ahead of the by-election on November 7.
Mr Odinga and Governor Mutua are expected to address a joint campaign rally at Olympics grounds on Sunday afternoon, to drum up support for Bernard Imran Okoth, the Orange Democratic Movement’s candidate.
The surprise move comes two days after ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna declared that the party will form new political alliances after the Kibra by-election.
It has been seen as a response to Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s decision to support Ford Kenya candidate Khamisi Butichi.
The Kamba community in the cosmopolitan Kibra constituency is the third largest after the Luo and Luhya so it is considered a crucial swing group that may decide the outcome of the by-election.
By reaching out to Dr Mutua, Mr Odinga expects to neutralise his partners in the National Super Alliance – Mr Musyoka of the Orange Democratic Movement, Ford Kenya leader and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula and Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, whose candidate is Eliud Owalo.
Mr Odinga and Governor Mutua on Saturday met grassroots leaders of the Kamba community at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Foundation’s offices in Kibra.
It is expected that Ukambani governors Charity Ngilu (Kitui) and Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) will join them at the rally.
Mr Odinga tasked Dr Mutua with ensuring the significant Kamba vote goes to the ODM candidate.
Speaking to the Nation, the county chief said they had been discussing ways to collaborate with Mr Odinga, not only for the Kibra mini poll but also for the Building Bridges Initiative.
This closing of political ranks between Mr Odinga and Machakos Governor, who heads Maendeleo Chap Chap party, will not only tilt the Kibra election scales in favour of the ODM candidate but also shape politics in Ukambani region.
Coming only two weeks after Dr Mutua’s party defeated Wiper in the hotly contested Mutonguni by-election in Kitui County, this new found partnership will likely diminish Mr Kalonzo’s political standing in a significant way.