Oburu Oginga faces uphill task as Siaya senate race shapes up

Julius Okinda, Tony Yogo, Dr Oburu Oginga.

From left: Siaya senate candidates Julius Okinda, Tony Yogo  and Dr Oburu Oginga.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The race for Siaya senate seat is shaping up after the clearance of an independent candidate by the electoral agency to face off with East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) member Dr Oburu Oginga who will fly the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) flag.

Mr Tony Yogo decamped from ODM after the party gave Dr Oburu a direct ticket.

He will face three other candidates who sought parties affiliated to Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition whose presidential candidate is Mr Raila Odinga.

They include Julius Okinda, James Wamban and Oscar Onyango who are running on the Federal Party of Kenya, Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) and Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) respectively.  

After facing a tough duel from his rival William Oduol for the Siaya gubernatorial seat in 2013, Dr Oburu was denied the ticket in favour of the incumbent Cornel Rasanga. Dr Oburu also lost the ticket to become Bondo MP in 2017 to Gideon Ochanda.

Mr Yogo while expressing confidence of withstanding the ODM wave, accused the party bigwigs of denying Siaya residents an opportunity to pick a leader who will be accountable to them and keep the executive in check.

“We cannot afford to have another opportunity where leaders are handpicked. It is shameful for the people who were expected to steer the county forward to come back and ask for another mandate when they have nothing to show us,” said the 40-year-old businessman.

Commonly referred to as Yogoyogo, he cautioned residents against voting along party lines and recycling leaders.

 “Other than voting for Raila Odinga for president, we should not be swayed by the six-piece calls. It is unfortunate that the ODM line-up did not consider the youth who are the majority in this county,” he said.

Other Orange party flag bearers for the county seats in the August 9 polls include James Orengo and Dr Christine Ombaka who will be vying for the seats of governor and woman representative respectively.

Mr Yogo expressed confidence that the August General Election to be presided by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will accord Siaya residents an opportunity to participate in a free and fair process.

Mr Yogo, whose symbol is the broken chain, has promised to keep the devolved unit in check to ensure they deliver on their mandate of building access roads, better healthcare systems, promoting basic education and agriculture, among others.

According to the new requirements by the electoral agency, independent candidates are now required to collect signatures and copies of national identity cards of their supporters and submit them when returning nomination papers.

Those eyeing the presidency are expected to collect signatures of 2,000 supporters from at least 24 counties, governors (5,000), senators (2,000), MPs and woman reps (1,000) while MCAs are supposed to get 500.

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