Why Ugenya Parliamentary by-election contestants have opted for door to door campaigns

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Is it because of financial challenges? Will this either give Raila Odinga’s preferred candidate an easy walk? Well, Candidates for the Ugenya by-election have started their campaigns ahead of the poll in April.

However, unlike in the past, the contestants have opted for door-to-door campaigns and use of agents at the grassroots, saying it was more effective. 

Four candidates – Daniel Juma of Grand Dream Development Party, Brian Omondi of Thirdway Alliance Party, David Ochieng of Movement for Growth and Democracy and Chris Karan of Orange Democratic Movement – have been cleared by Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission to vie for the seat.

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The seat fell vacant in December 2018 after the Supreme Court nullified the election of Mr Karan.

Mr Omondi told a local daily that as a newcomer he did not have the financial muscle but has developed a new format that was impactful and cost-friendly. 

“I have been using the media a lot, including vernacular media stations. My agents have also been meeting the electorate on a daily basis. I will hold major campaigns (rallies) in a week’s time, although this door-to-door is magic,” he said.

Mr Juma said he had recruited hundreds of agents who were going door-to-door wooing voters.

He claimed that he had thousands of silent and loyal voters who were unhappy about the performance of the two former MPs.

“While my opponents are chest-thumping , I have inspired my supporters to take ownership of the campaigns and they cannot be bought by money. Every day, my camp is receiving defectors from either camps who have realised that I am more sincere and genuine.”

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Mr Karan said he had organised several meetings with his agents. “I will start meeting my agents from Sunday.

These meetings will entail a lot of things but most importantly, we want to talk to them and plan how we can do grassroots campaigns.”Mr Ochieng’ said he would start his major campaign in March.

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