Why ODM Aspirants Not Sitting Pretty in Kisumu
The political battle for parliamentary seats in Kisumu County has attracted a lot of attention following claims of rigging during the ODM nominations.
And for the first time, the Orange party led by Prime Minister Raila Odinga, could lose out to CORD allies, despite calls for ‘six-piece’ voting.
The unsatisfactory nominations led to some aspirants, touted to be popular, but ‘lost’ to decamp to parties affiliated to CORD such as Ford-Kenya and Wiper.
Despite this, CORD presidential candidate Raila’s popularity has not wavered in a county with 388,729 registered voters.
But there is a likelihood of ODM losing at least three seats, to CORD affiliates. Residents claim there are efforts to impose leaders on them, especially members ofthe next National Assembly.
The scenario has been made complex by ODM candidates’ insistence that voters follow ‘six-piece’ pattern. Some of them, immediate former MPs, are facing a revolt never witnessed before including some being heckled in the Premier’s presence.
The county has seven constituencies namely; Kisumu Central, Kisumu West, Kisumu East, Nyakach, Muhoroni, Seme and Nyando.
The most bruising contest is likely to be witnessed in Kisumu West, Nyando, Muhoroni and Nyakach.
In Nyando constituency, the contest is between immediate former MP Fred Outa and Jared Okello (Ford-Kenya).
Their supporters recently clashed at Ahero town, a few minutes before Raila addressed a rally. Outa was shouted down.
No legislator has ever been re-elected in the area, and Outa is trying to change this.
Okello, popularly referred as ‘Jare’ has campaigned aggressively and believes he will win.
But Outa insists he has initiated several development projects, which put him in a favourable position.
In Kisumu Central constituency nominations were marred with tension and at some point, GSU officers had to guard the polling station.
Mr Ken Obura controversially beat three other competitors.
His closest rival Abdul Omar alleged the exercise had been rigged.
Omar, is popular due to the projects he has initiated in informal sectors such as jua kali artisans. He is currently engaged in door-to-door campaigns, and the social media.
The flamboyant Obura used customised vehicles in his campaigns in the run-up to the nominations, but these seem to have fizzled out.
In Kisumu West, Olago Aluoch has been an MP for the two terms, and Ms Rozah Buyu is giving him a run for his money.
Olago decamped to Ford-Kenya, after claiming he had been rigged out in the ODM nominations.
Education assistant minister Ayiecho Olweny faces stiff competition from his main challenger, Erick Koyoo, of PDP in Muhoroni constituency.
Prof Olweny was heckled despite Raila’s intervention in Awasi, a week ago. Mr Koyoo contested against the minister in the 2007 polls, and lost. But this time, he might cause a surprise.
In Nyakach, there are six contestants, but the race is between immediate former MP Pollyns Ochieng and former Kisumu Town Clerk Aduma Owuor.
Mr Ochieng argued the nominations were not free and fair, but Mr Owuor said he won.
Last week, while campaigning in Kondele, Raila urged residents to vote for him and make their own decision in the other seats.