Disappointed with Raila Odinga's loss, Nyanza residents await his next move

Kisumu kondele protests raila odinga ruto iebc

A resident of Kondele demonstrates after IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati declared William Ruto the winner of the presidential election on August 15, 2022.

Photo credit: Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group

Nyanza residents expressed disappointment with the Presidential results Monday after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared William Ruto the winner as opposed to regional kingpin Raila Odinga.

On the streets of Kisumu, the deflated mood was palpable with one section devoid of any people while in another, angry protesters took to the streets immediately after announcement. 

Oginga Odinga Street in Kisumu

Empty streets on the usually busy Oginga Odinga Street in Kisumu after announcement of the presidential results on August 15, 2022. 

Photo credit: Rushdie Oudia | Nation Media Group

In Kondele, hundreds of youths barricaded the Kisumu-Kakamega road as they protested IEBC's declaration of William Ruto as president-elect.

This saw motorists forced to seek alternative routes as the police used teargas to disperse the crowds.

Oginga Odinga Street in Kisumu

Residents scampers for safety after demonstrations erupted at Kondele roundabout in Kisumu following IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati's declaration that William Ruto is President-elect on August 15, 2022.

Photo credit: Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group

Mr Odinga's staunch supporters thronged the streets as they made their way through Mamboleo, Manyatta, Obunga and Nyawita estates to gather at Kondele. The demos seemingly caught a few police officers in the area unawares as few security personnel had been deployed to the lakeside city.

Police use teargas to disperse residents of Kisumu kondele

Police use teargas to disperse residents of Kisumu County who held demonstrations at the Kondele roundabout on August 15, 2022.

Photo credit: Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group

In Siaya, another Odinga stronghold, gloom settled on the town after the announcement that the Azimio leader had lost his fifth bid to become president.

Way forward

After eagerly gathering at Siaya town centre eagerly awaiting Chebukati's announcement, majority filed out of town disappointed. For them, the least desirable outcome of this election had come to be.

Mr William Omondi, leader of Siaya Bunge la Wananchi, told the Nation that they would wait for Mr Odinga to give them the way forward.

“The results have been announced. We were very close but just like that, the seat has eluded us again for the fifth time. We will wait for our leader to tell us what to do,” he said with a tone that betrayed his disappointment.

In Bondo, residents took to the streets to protest IEBC's announcement of DR Ruto as President-elect. However, they retreated after a short while. The police did not respond to the demonstrations.

Muted reaction

Compared to previous elections where Mr Odinga had lost, as opposed to outright anger and violence across the region, this time the reaction from locals is noticeably muted.

In Kisumu Town where shops remained closed and there was limited movement, residents maintained that there was need for peace.

Most also said they were waiting for Mr Odinga to tell them what happens next. 

“I am disappointed with the results as they stand but we are waiting for our leader to give us the way forward. But meanwhile we should maintain peace and not destroy,” said boda boda rider Josephat Oduor. 

By Rushdie Oudia, Victor Raballa, Kassim Adinasi, George Odiwuor, Benson Amadala and Wycliffe Nyaberi

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