By WAMBUI PAULINE
Aspirants seeking to contest the upcoming Kitui West by-election on NASA affiliate parties are counting losses after they were denied tickets.
The parties under the opposition coalition — ODM, Ford Kenya, ANC, Narc and CCU — have agreed that they will not field candidates in favor of Wiper Party nominee Edith Nyenze.
The parliamentary seat was held by the late Francis Nyenze, Edith Nyenze’s husband, who had been elected on Wiper ticket in last year’s General election.
Mutiso Lelli, who ran on Ford-Kenya ticket coming a strong second to Ms. Nyenze was denied a ticket by his party, prompting him to decamp to Narc-Kenya.
“After being taken into circles, I was told last week by my party that they are not sponsoring any candidate because they had decided to back the Wiper nominee,” said Mr Lelli.
He said he had started distributing posters and campaigning as the Ford-Kenya candidate, but he was disappointed by the party’s decision to deny him the ticket and endorse his rival.
“I had already incurred huge expenses in printing campaign materials but they are now useless because I will have to run on a different party” he said.
Mutiso accused the NASA parties of arm-twisting and intimidating candidates to abandon the race and clear the way for Mrs. Nyenze.
However, he warned Mrs. Nyenze to brace for a stiff challenge in the ballot.
Another candidate, Hannington Mbiti, who was third in Kitui West August race, is still awaiting clearance from Muungano Party.
This comes hot on the heels of Jubilee Party’s move of throwing a political spin into the by-lection after it endorsed Mrs. Nyenze.
This has left Ben Mbai, who was Jubilee’s candidate last year, technically locked out the race.