From blows to handshakes: Simba Arati, Didmus Barasa make up after Kibra showdown
International author Patience Johnson probably wasn’t aware how much the phrase “in politics there are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, but permanent interest” would resonate with the Kenyan political scene when she wrote it in her book, ‘Why Does an Orderly God Allow Disorder.’
The phrase has however, over time, been proven right; at least going by the cases of political foes-turned-friends witnessed in the country in recent times.
Kenyan politicians have continually proved that they are only enemies on the microphone and in the streets but, when all is said and done, they reset to their cordial nature with each other and share a glass or two of their favourite drinks.
This circle was once again proven on Tuesday when Dagoretti North Member of Parliament Simba Arati and his Kimilili counterpart Didmus Barasa met face-to-face for the first time since the showdown in Kibra.
The two legislators met on Parliament grounds as MP Barasa was headed to the Media Centre for a joint press conference opposing the threat by the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to publish names and photos of defaulters in the local dailies.
According to sources who spoke to Citizen Digital, the two even shared a meal together at the MP’s lounge.
This was the first time the two legislators ran into each other on the backdrop of the hotly contested Kibra by-election where the duo was on opposing sides.
Mr. Arati was one of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) legislators tasked with securing the seat for their candidate, and eventual winner, Bernard Imran Okoth, while Mr. Barasa campaigned for Jubilee Party’s McDonald Mariga.
Mr. Barasa – on the November 7 by-election day – however found himself on the wrong side of supporters allied to Mr. Arati at the DC Grounds polling station who attacked him, snatched his signature cap off his head before slapping him several times while others shoved him.
The scuffle occurred in a surprise turn of events while the Kimilili MP was calmly speaking to Mr. Arati who had just arrived at the DC Grounds.
Mr. Arati’s efforts to calm down the rowdy youth were futile as the youth demanded that Mr. Barasa, who is allied to Deputy President William Ruto, leave the polling station.
Mr. Barasa, in a later Twitter post, condemned Mr. Arati over the incident, even further calling for his arrest.
The two, going by the hearty laughs and warm handshakes they shared on Tuesday, however appear to have mended fences.
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