ODM to back Wangamati of DAP-K in Azimio/OKA Bungoma pact

ODM Bungoma county Chairman Mr Ali Machani Balala (left), Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati and Defense Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa during a church service at Webuye Sinoko PEFA church in April.

Photo credit: Brian Ojamaa | Nation Media Group

The Orange Democratic Movement party (ODM) will not field a candidate for the Bungoma County governor’s seat, but will instead support Democratic Action Party-Kenya (DAP-K) candidate Wycliffe Wangamati to retain the seat.

But in the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance coalition arrangement, Mr Wangamati will pick his running mate from ODM. The coalition is still in talks to see how to share the woman representative and senator seats under the Azimio-OKA arrangement.

There has been sibling rivalry in the Azimio/OKA teams in Bungoma on fielding candidates for various seats across the nine constituencies.

Mr Wangamati was elected in 2017 on a Ford Kenya party ticket. He later fell out with party leader Moses Wetang'ula after a botched coup in the party, before joining DAP-K.

On Monday, ODM county chairman Ali Machani Balala issued nomination certificates to several candidates across the county at the party headquarters in Bungoma, where he said the Azimio team had agreed not to contest the governor’s seat for the sake of the presidency.

"Our brothers under DAP-K are drumming up support for Mr Odinga's presidency and in return, we have opted to support their candidate Wangamati to retain his seat as governor," he said.

He said that Mr Wangamati had also brought significant development and had voters’ backing.

Bungoma County ODM chairman Mr Ali Machani Balala (in white cap) addressing the press after issuing aspirants of various seats with nomination certificates at the party's Bungoma headquarters in Kanduyi on Monday May 2, 2022.

Photo credit: Brian Ojamaa | Nation Media Group

Mr Balala, the Maraka ward MCA in Webuye East constituency, asked the Azimio team of Jubilee, DAP-K, ODM, URP and others to walk together in unity to ensure they deliver votes to Mr Odinga.

Mr Balala asked residents to vote for Mr Odinga, saying he will relinquish power to a Luhya in 2027.

He said that Mr Odinga has fought for the country's democracy and its time he was elected President.

Webuye East parliamentary aspirant Aggrey Namisi asked those who lost in the nominations to support the party.

He said he will ensure he bags the first ODM seat for Mr Odinga in the county.

"I wish to thank all of you for the overwhelming love and support ODM has accorded me and I promise to make the party proud," he said, thanking his competitors who shelved their political ambitions in his favour.

Mr Lawrence Sifuna will vie for the Senate seat, Mr Moses Nandalwe the Sirisia parliamentary seat and Mr John Wasike the Webuye West MP seat.

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