THE KISUMU GUBERNATORIAL RACE TAKING SHAPE AS 2017 GENERAL ELECTION DRAWS NEAR.
By Mathews Okal
Kisumu County Gubernatorial race is already heating up with various aspirants assembling the machinery and war chest in readiness for party nominations.
There has been realignments with possibly the last of the aspirants coming on board. It is now clear who the aspirants are.
There is the incumbent Mr. Ranguma,McObewa from Kano respectively, Prof Nyongo from Seme, Asaka Nyangara and the Youthful Arch Ondiek both from Nyakach.
It should be noted that the county has the clans of Kano,Nyakach, Seme,Kisumo/Kajulu who are rumoured to be also organizing themselves to bargain for a position and lastly a critical vote bloc living in Kisumu town consisting of all other people combined.
In the wake of recent developments in ODM, the Governor, Jack Ranguma, according to an MCA close to him, is not a happy man with the on-goings and hence treading cautiously.
There has even wild rumours that the party favours his competitor and he may do the unthinkable, decamping to another party.
These come after he missed the ODM 10th anniversary celebration at Laico Regency. Though he later made it to Mama Ngina Park Celebration in Mombasa which the able Dep Party Leader Joho hosted, he is still not contented about the nominations despite the surety.
Of course he holds the advantage of incumbency which sitting leaders do have, his undoing is not delivering on what he promised. Farmers, fishermen and youth continue to be dissatisfied.
Prof. Nyong’o, whom is now widely referred to as ‘ng’ama lwete chieck'(the one who never
gives) is a household name and is also known for never engaging in everyday campaigns by always relying on the party. He always makes last minute appearances
prior to the nominations.
The tactic is viewed to have coated him the Senate seat in 2013,where it was widely believed Ocholla Ogoda defeated him but he still got the certificate.
Nyong’o’s ratings however are at an all time low as there has been suspicion about his health or strength to sustain a gruesome campaign. This is especially after he collapsed at a fundraiser at Arina AIC church just 3 weeks ago.
The residents are also concerned about his old age now 70s and a perpetual poor development records since the early 90s. The voters are fatigued by his name in the ballot paper and voices of dissent are emanating from his Same backyard.
His ‘meanness’ led to a joke that after he donated 100,000 at the AIC fundraiser, an amount which he rarely gives, he collapsed probably due to the shock of donation.
Prof is expected to team up with Ruth Odinga as running mate, Outa as Senator and Buyu as women rep. McObewa who has now been campaigning for sometime now is a worried man. This is mainly due to the fact that, he has been a consistent campaigner for the last few years but despite the effort, his ratings have never improved.
He still remains way below the Governor whom they Hail with from the same place. Sources close to him say his campaign team, who started campaigns long time ago, hasn’t helped him much as his popularity is still restricted within the city Estates.
It has been said that he is even more popular in Kisumu town more than his home area of Kano.The exciting new kid on the block is Archichect Chris Ondiek who comes from Nyakach.
The man who is not even 35 yet and the latest entrant to the race has come in with an aggressive campaign approach with a detail grass-root campaign network gaining popularity with the youth.
This can be demonstrated with the fact that the majority disillusioned youth wanted an alternative voice which they have found in Chris.
Chris is known to push poverty, unemployment and inclusion for all as his main agenda which seem to be the language of the many. This is after some distractors met and started pushing the agenda of natives and non natives led by the deputy Governor.
Last week at Akumu’s burial, Mr. ondiek spoke candidly on Equity and inclusion for everyone. It is his boldness and prowess in articulating issues that has endeered him with so many in such a short time.
In what may prove to a major boost to the young man, this weekend Asaka Nyangara, who had also declared his intention to be the Governor, while addressing his local church in Nyakach hinted that he may drop out of the race and support Chris Ondiek.
This is mainly due to his work schedule which makes him come once in a fortnight and then travels back to Yemen where he works with a major UN agency.His campaign has been reduced to promoted Facebook updates.
In a meeting in the afternoon after the church address, where he met Nyakach Elders and youth, he agreed with them that his campaigned has been affected by major withdrawals of his core team members and that Arch Ondiek has gained support and so would convene a meeting in October to endorse Arch Chris Ondiek.
This development would put Chris as the undisputed blessed candidate from Nyakach and he is expected to fight it out with other Bulls like Ranguma, McObewa and Nyongo. The Elders further adviced Asaka to keep on in the picture and be active on social media till the announced date.
All Nyakach Professionals are expected to attend. Our moles further reveal that he is negotiating for something behind the scenes with Chris Ondiek.
Majority are still undecided but there is a general feeling of change and a yearn for a
leader who does things differently and address the actual problems in Kisumu City.