Tricks or dirty games in campaigns to by-election?

The battle for Homa Bay by-elections has attracted all manner of tricks in a bid to bag the seat left vacant following the death of Senator Otieno Kajwang’. Accusations of incitement and threats to sue for defamation and expulsion from the party have featured prominently during the campaign period that comes to an end next week when Homa Bay voters are expected to pick their next senator. But most interesting is a revelation by a doctor, who now claims his life is in danger after saying that one of the candidates faked his injury. Dr Kevin Osuri of Homa Bay Level Four Hospital said that Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) candidate Moses Kajwang’ faked the injury. The doctor has refuted claims that the candidate in Homa Bay senatorial by-election was recently hurt when campaigning in the region. Crying foul on how some ODM MPs are trying to put his job on the line, he says he has decided to make the matter public because keeping quiet will mean that he has gone against the Hippocratic Oath he swore to uphold. See also: Raila’s passionate plea to Homa Bay voters on senatorial race The medic narrated to The Standard on Saturday how Kajwang’s brother (Ruaraka MP) TJ Kajwang’ and Homa Bay Women Representative Gladys Wanga went to his office and persuaded him to place a bandage on Kajwang’s ear to prove that he was actually badly injured. “They also wanted me to give Kajwang’ a neck brace and crutches but I declined because it was against my professional ethics,” he explained. He added: “But this prompted TJ Kajwang’ to grab the neck brace and placed it on his brother’s neck. Unfortunately, he placed it upside down. He did not find the crutches. They then went out and addressed the press. I was shocked. I can’t bear it. I know my life is in danger, but Kenyans should know the truth,” he narrated to The Standard on Saturday. The shocking revelation on the extent to which political parties could be applying tactics of propaganda to hoodwink voters has left many people wondering. Kajwang’ had been rushed to the hospital after chaos broke out at the burial of Homa Bay County Public Service Board (CPSB) Secretary Agnes Mackdwallo in Kochia village. It is in the same constituency, at Olare Market where a similar incident befell the ODM brigade last month during Kajwang’s introductory tour of the county. ODM has particularly accused Kajwang’s main challenger, Philip Okundi (Maendeleo Party of Kenya) of being behind the spate of attacks on its candidate. But Okundi, on the other hand, blames Kajwang’ of masterminding own attacks to win sympathy votes. Where is the truth?

The Standard on Saturday has dug deep to unmask the political intrigues that now cast a dark shadow on the by-election. The debate on whether Kajwang’ has been stage-managing the attacks dominated the meeting between the candidates and IEBC officials on Tuesday. Okundi accused the Orange party’s aspirant of faking violent scenes to win sympathy votes. According to the former Rangwe MP, even the Narok accident in which Kajwang’ and some of his family members suffered some injuries a day before ODM conducted its botched nominations in Homa Bay, was stage-managed. But Kajwang’, on the other hand, defended himself of claims that he is stage-managing violence. “It is extremely irresponsible for someone to insinuate that I can stage-manage attacks on myself,” he said. “My ear has bruises. Is it possible that I can harm myself?” he posed, adding, “If anybody has evidence that I stage-managed the chaos, let him present it to the relevant authorities.” Benard Owuor, vying on a National Vision Party, defended Kajwang’, but maintained the violence was not planned by any candidate. See also: Raila’s passionate plea to Homa Bay voters on senatorial race “It is not true that someone can stage-manage being pelted with stones,” argued Owuor. But Odoyo Owidi, Kasipul politician and chairman of the Luoland Dialogue Initiative dismisses Mbadi’s claims. “I was in that meeting. Kajwang’ was surrounded by many security officers and was not hurt. It is only Wanga who was sprinkled with water,” Owidi says. He accuses ODM of playing dirty and chaotic politics. ODM is facing opposition from candidates who abandoned the Orange party in protest of the direct nomination given to the late Kajwang’s younger brother. Other candidates for the by-election have blamed Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang’, for abetting and planning violence in Homa Bay. “It is TJ Kajwang’ who is fanning violence in this region. It is him who is accompanied by angry youth and whose bodyguards are happy to pull the trigger and create tension. It is TJ’s bodyguards who scared people by shooting in the air during the aborted ODM nominations and also during the rally at Olare Market and the burial at Kochia village. It seems he is using violence to get the seat for his brother,” said Innocent Masara, an independent candidate.


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