Political rivals battling for the Matuga parliamentary seat on Sunday continued their whistle-stop tours of the constituency as they drummed up support ahead of the July 12 by-election.
Groups from ODM, PNU, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and the Labour Party of Kenya (LPK) — which are fronting candidates in the poll — traversed the vast constituency bearing banners. They also sang in praise of their candidates.
The race pits ODM’s Hassan Mwanyoha against PNU’s Ali Chirau Mwakwere, Mr Kassim Tandaza (UDM) and Isaac Mutula Masila of LPK.
The candidates, who spoke to the Daily Nation, said they preferred door-to-door campaigns as opposed to public rallies as the former were more effective, especially in their opponents’ strongholds.
Mr Mwakwere kicked off his tour on Friday with a special meeting with elders from Tiwi, an area perceived to be Mr Mwanyoha’s stronghold.
“I have moved to more than 300 homes convincing them to re-elect me for what I have done for them in the past seven years,” Mr Mwakwere said.
Mr Mwanyoha, on the other hand, held a meeting in Mr Tandaza’s home turf at Mwabunga. The ODM team also criss-crossed 11 locations, including Tsimba, Mwaluwamba and Kwale Town.
ODM organising secretary Ali Hassan Joho said Coast MPs will continue with the village campaigns until July 2 before the party’s secretariat takes over.
The UDM candidate decided to conduct his rallies within Kwale Town, where he held road shows and meetings. Mr Tandaza said all is set for the by-election.
At the same time, police have urged the campaigners to maintain peace and hold rallies in areas permitted by officers.
The Matuga parliamentary seat, formerly held by Mr Mwakwere, fell vacant on February 5, 2010, following a successful petition filed by a voter, Mr Ayub Juma Mwakesi.