Why We Lost In Msambweni: Joho Explains
On Tuesday ODM promised vigorous campaigns across the country next year to drum up support for the BBI even as it fought off any impression that it had lost support going by the Msambweni by-election results.
The Orange party deputy leader Hassan Joho, who is also the Mombasa Governor, said that the defeat that the party suffered in the mini-poll in Kwale County and elsewhere should not be used to gauge its popularity.
“Those thinking that the by-election was the measure of the popularity of the party are daydreaming. We conducted peaceful campaigns. As I have said before, according to us, the evening of December 15 marked the end of our campaigns. We have viewed the results. Obviously, as a party, we must do a postmortem to understand what we did wrong; where we need to correct and what we learnt. That is the process of democracy,” said Governor Joho.
He added that there was nothing unusual when the party’s candidate Omar Boga lost the Msambweni contest to Feisal Bader, an independent candidate who had received the support of politicians allied to Deputy President William Ruto.
The ruling party, which Dr Ruto is a member of, did not field a candidate in the contest in honour of the handshake between Mr Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“It is not that Mr Boga did not get votes. He garnered over 10,000 votes and the winner got slightly higher votes. Mr Boga did not get zero votes,” he noted.
Mr Joho blamed poor voter turnout for the unfavourable results that the party got from the mini-polls.
“How do you explain a by-election on a working day? It was on a Tuesday. A working day. Voter turnout is roughly 40 percent and in some areas, it was 30 percent. In general, the total percentage of voter turnout was less than 40 percent. There is also a big chance that a lot of the people never came out to vote or never had the opportunity for their voices to be heard,” said Joho.
He went on: “Only a fool would use this to determine that the popularity of the party has gone down. How is that possible? If you celebrate that then you are lost.”
The party has told the DP Ruto-led Tangatanga political wing to brace for a bruising campaign that will end at the ballot in the 2022 General Election.
On his part, Suna East MP Junet Mohamed said that even though the party lost the seat, ODM cannot be compared to Tangatanga, which has no official designation either as a party or a movement.