Kanu picks Ibrahim Sheikh for Wajir West seat by-election
The Wajir West seat fell vacant following a successful petition by Sheikh against Kolosho’s 2017 win.
Wajir West has the Aljuran and the Degodia clans. Kolosh’s Degodia clan is the majority followed by Sheikh’s Aljuran.
Kanu has cleared Ibrahim Sheikh to fly its flag in the April 25 Wajir West parliamentary by-election.
Mr Sheikh will now face off with Jubilee Party’s Mohamed Kolosh and ODM’s Mohamed Yusuf.
On Tuesday, Kanu election board chairman Eddie Kivuvani presented Sheikh with a clearance certificate at the party’s headquarters in Nairobi as the deadline for submission of names by political parties closed.
The Wajir West seat fell vacant following a successful petition by Sheikh against Kolosho’s 2017 poll victory.
Delivering their verdict on January 18, Chief Justice David Maraga, Justices Mohamed Ibrahim, Smokin Wanjala, Jackton Ojwang, Njoki Ndung’u and Isaac Lenaola agreed votes had been manipulated to favour Kolosh in the August 8, 2017 polls.
Kolosh had a 447-vote margin against his Kanu rival. However, it emerged that if the votes which had been overstated were removed, the court said, the results would have favoured the petitioner.
Kolosho had contested on an ODM ticket but has since decamped to Jubilee.
But as the parties settled on their flag bearers this week, observers say the by-election could be a bruising one given the high stakes involved.
Campaign meetings and strategy events have started in the constituency where clans are likely to be a major factor.
“We will examine the candidates based on their plans for our people. We expect the campaigns to be orderly and peaceful,” said Hassan Ijuma, a voter.
While Sheikh enjoys a massive grassroots support and has the backing of his party, his main rival Kolosho, although facing the burden of incumbency, could benefit from the backing of a well-resourced Jubilee Party.
Wajir West has the Aljuran and the Degodia clans. Kolosh’s Degodia clan is the majority followed by Sheikh’s Aljuran. In 2017, pockets of the Degodia backed Sheikh. It remains to be seen how the duel will play out in the coming days.