Hassan Chitembe, a former civic leader and grass root ODM party still popular despite losing a parliamentary seat official in Kwale County says the party is still popular on the ground despite failing to clinch the Msambweni parliamentary seat in the December 15 by-election.
Chitembe who is also a former Kwale ODM chairman said Msambweni and the larger Kwale County was still an ODM zone and that the party leader Raila Odinga has a fanatical following.
“I would like to tell our party leader that he should not worry and fail to fall asleep as a result of the party’s loss in Msambweni,” he said in Kwale town on Thursday.
Independent candidate Feisal Bader has been declared the MP-elect after garnering 15,251 votes to trounce his main challenger ODM’s Omar Boga who polled 10,444 votes in the tight electoral battle.
The mini-poll was occasioned by the death of area ODM MP Suleiman Dori who died in March.
The former veteran civic leader said the party failed to retain the seat due to rivalry between the ODM team in Kwale and that of Mombasa.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho who is also the ODM deputy party leader led the campaigns for Boga while his Kwale counterpart Salim Mvurya drummed up support for Bader.
“We failed to clinch the parliamentary seat because the Kwale campaign team has been relegated to the back banner by our colleagues from Mombasa who hogged the limelight,” he said despite the party’s nominee heavily favoured to win.
He decried that the two governors have exchanged negative utterances that inflamed passions that swayed voters.
“The voters did not take lightly the use of intemperate language by those leading campaign teams,” he said adding that the parliamentary race looked like a supremacy contest between the two coastal governors.
By Hussein Abdullahi