ODM’s victory silences rebels-Kidero,Raila supremacy battle settled
THE landslide victory by ODM’s Moses Kajwang’ in Thursday’s Homa Bay senator by-election has settled the supremacy battle between party leader Raila Odinga and Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero.
Close allies of the former Prime Minister said Moses’s win against Maendeleo Party candidate Philip Okundi confirmed Raila’s grip on the region’s politics.
Kajwang beat Okundi by almost 90,000 votes in the contest billed as the battle of titans and characterised by well-oiled political machinery.
“This election… has sent out a strong message to the rebels that our party boss Raila Odinga still calls the shots here and in the rest of the country,” said Opiyo Wandayi, ODM secretary for political affairs.
“The outcome of this election would have ramifications that would reverberate up to and beyond 2017.”
But Okundi’s supporters, led by Karachuonyo MP James Rege, said ODM used violence to rig the poll.
He accused the electoral commission of not intervening despite widespread electoral malpractice.
“Many people are still lying at the Kindu Hospital. Not even the media is reporting about it,” Rege said.
“I don’t have to run on the ODM ticket in 2017. I’m a professional and my war for democracy will not be stopped.”
Okundi has threatened to challenge the win in court.
But speaking to the Star, ODM secretary general Ababu Namwamba said Moses’s convincing lead is a sign that ODM strongholds are still intact.