Duale, Passaris online war gets messy, but why are the two leaders fighting?


The National Assembly Majority Leader, Aden Duale, and Nairobi Woman Representative, Esther Passaris, are trading barbs online, with Ms Passaris accusing Mr Duale of “disrespecting” NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga, whom she refers to as a “statesman, a father figure and a gentleman”.

The online war began on Monday, September 4, when Mr Duale was quoted by Standard Digital as having dared Mr Odinga to call for an overhaul of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) if he (Odinga) was a “total man”.

“Raila kama wewe ni mwanaume kuja utoe IEBC (Raila, if you are a man, come and remove IEBC commissioners from their positons),” Mr Duale was quoted as saying on Monday.

This statement by Duale seemingly angered Ms Passaris, who took to her official social media pages to call out Mr Duale for disrespecting a figure, whose political experience is undeniably great.

“Can someone please tell me how old is this man (Mr Duale)? What is his level of education? What is his upbringing? What does he consume? I don’t get him,” wrote Passaris on Twitter.

In another post, the Nairobi Woman Rep said: “The disrespect of @RailaOdinga aka statesman, father figure, gentleman by an ‘infant’ in politics (Mr Duale) will not be tolerated.”

Mr Duale, who saw Passaris’ post, replied: “I am 50-years-old, with decent humble Islamic upbringing, went to national schools and known universities, married to a decent wife with five sons. That’s Aden Duale. I am sorry I have no space.”

The National Assembly Majority Leader seemingly was not done yet. He went on to write: “You (Passaris) are a Nairobi Woman Rep with powers to legislate, represent and oversight, Aden Duale is none of this? After you undergo the 12th Parliament orientation next week, we can then have a parliamentary leaders discourse; not ready for anything else.”

The NASA political formation on Sunday hit the IEBC with three new demands before a repeat presidential election penciled in for October 17 is held.

Speaking in a campaign rally in Mathare, Nairobi County on Sunday, the opposition outfit, led by Raila Odinga, demanded for a clean up in the Commission by sending home officials who allowed the commitment of electoral fraud during the August 8 general election, that were nullified by the Supreme Court last Friday.

NASA also ordered that the electoral agency must cut ties with Al Ghurair printing firm, which printed ballot papers for August 8 general election before the fresh poll; and contract a new firm with no questionable credibility.

The NASA further demanded that the electoral commission recruits new Returning Officers in all constituencies to allow for a smooth election.

This comes even as the Jubilee political formation continues to show support for current IEBC commissioners, saying they won’t be ousted before their term of office ends.


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