13 show interest in Homa Bay governor’s seat

Evans Kidero

From left: ODM chairman John Mbadi, former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero, Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga and former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

 The Homa Bay County gubernatorial contest is getting increasingly crowded with at least 13 aspirants angling to succeed Governor Cyprian Awiti, who is due to step down next year.

And given the popularity of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party, the scramble for its ticket is shaping up to be a high-stakes affair.

The line-up draws candidates from diverse backgrounds — seasoned politicians, a trade unionist, an information and communication technologist and renowned businessmen.

Prominent names include ODM chairman John Mbadi, Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga, former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga, who gave the incumbent a run for his money in the 2017 General Election.

Also in the race are Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) secretary general Akello Misori, Homa Bay Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata and businessman Sam Wakiaga.

Others are County Secretary Isaiah Ogwe, Finance Executive Nicholas Koriko, Mr Louis Otieno Ogingo, Mr Cosmas Kanyadudi and Mr Jared Otieno Kiasa.

While he has not officially declared his candidature, Senator Moses Kajwang is also reported to be eyeing the seat. The lawmaker hails from the Suba minority community. Mr Wakiaga and Mr Mbadi have already embarked on grassroots mobilisation campaigns.

Mr Mbadi, who is also the National Assembly minority leader, has urged voters not to be influenced by clan politics.

From left: Businessman Sam Wakiaga, Kuppet secretary general Akello Misori, County Secretary Isaiah Ogwe and Finance Executive Nicholas Koriko.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

 “Homa Bay residents should vote for a person who has their interest at heart. Don’t be swayed into electing a person from your clan but will not be able to deliver,” he said.

Dr Kidero’s decision to contest has complicated matters for the other aspirants mainly due to his deep pockets and ability to mount a massive campaign in the expansive region.

Dr Kidero’s “Homa Bay Manyien” (New Homa Bay) campaign slogan has elicited excitement among the electorate as he hopes to make a political comeback in 2022.

His entry also comes as a big blow to Ms Wanga, who also hails from Dr Kidero’s Rangwe Sub-county.

Mr Misori, who has been traversing the county and attending major functions presided over by ODM party leader Raila Odinga, has promised voters that he will provide solutions to their problems. “I talk with Homa Bay residents every day [and they] are telling me that our county is in crisis. And they are right,” he said.

The trade unionist has identified the establishment of local polytechnics, access to clean water and healthcare as some of his priority issues if elected.


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