The wife to the late Matungu MP Justus Murunga, Christabel Murunga, and his stepson, Eugene Ambwere, have joined the by-election race.
According to the Standard, the two will be vying for the Matungu Parliamentary seat as independent candidates. They are now among the 23 aspirants that the IEBC has lined up for vetting ahead of the March 4 by-elections.
“I intend to finish the term my father left,” Mr Ambwere said, “I understand a lot of ideas he had in mind for Matungu, and I want to fulfill them.”
The late Matungu MP died from COVID-19 on November 14. His family joining the race will no doubt lead to intrigue in the by-election.
Matungu Returning Officer, John Kirui, said they were expecting their nomination forms back on January 18 after validation.
The IEBC had on Thursday directed the aspirants to get their documents ready before January 18. On that day, they would then present them for scrutiny. Independent candidates will need to have their proposers and seconders accompanying them.
Kirui further said that independent candidates needed not to have been members of any political party three months before the election. Considering that this is their first foray into politics, both Christabel and her son, Ambwere, pass this hurdle.
Tough competition ahead
However, the two will have to face candidates nominated by powerful political parties. They will up against David Were of ODM, Abel Mutimba of Ford-Kenya, and Alex Lanya of the United Democratic Alliance. There will also be Charles Kasamani from the United Democratic Party.
However, Jubilee will not field any candidate in the by-election, despite having nominated Raphael Werimo. Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju said it was because the party engaged other parties constructively in the BBI spirit.
Mr, Werimo, though, said he would still support Jubilee.
“I’ll not, like other people, defect from Jubilee to compete as an independent candidate,” Werimo told journalists.
The candidates will begin their campaigns in the coming days. Mumias Director of Criminal Investigation, Robert Mureithi, asked them not to conduct night campaigns.
That would contravene the curfew and would land the candidates in trouble.