Siaya governor race: James Orengo picks William Oduol as running mate

James Orengo

Siaya Senator James Orengo (left) and William Oduol.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Siaya Senator James Orengo has nominated Mr William Oduol as his running mate in the race to become the next governor of the county.

Mr Orengo wrote to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) National Elections Board on Tuesday, ending speculations on his preferred candidate between Mr Oduol and Dr Kevin Osuri-former Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Nyanza secretary-general.

“I have nominated Mr William Odhiambo Oduol as my running mate for the seat of the deputy governor in the General Election to be held on August 9 following my nomination by the ODM party to contest for the seat of governor, Siaya County. His details are as follows…,” reads the letter dated May 10.

Both Dr Osuri and Mr Oduol were initially meant to contest for the Alego Usonga parliamentary seat where the incumbent Samuel Atandi will be flying the party flag after successfully battling a petition to deny him the ticket.

They are all said to have dropped their bids after they were promised the running mate position. The party is understood to have dangled a plum government job for Dr Osuri in the event of victory.

Vote-rich Alego

“Yes, I confirm that my name has been forwarded to the ODM Elections boards for the slot of running mate in Siaya gubernatorial race. We will soon hit the ground running,” Mr Oduol told Nation.Africa.

Mr Orengo also confirmed to Nation.Africa that he had settled on Mr Oduol as his running mate.

The choice of Mr Oduol is meant to ring-fence the vote-rich Alego where Governor Cornell Rasanga comes from.

Unlike 2017 when Mr Orengo easily got re-elected, with some saying he didn’t even have to print out a single poster, the dynamics are different this time around.

Former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo, who lost the seat by a few votes last time and his running mate Charles Owino, the former Police Spokesman, have pitched camp in the county for a number of months now and the duo will have to sweat it out if they must win.

Mr Oduol, a skilled ground mobiliser, claimed victory in the party nominations of 2013 against EALA MP Oburu Oginga before the incumbent Rasanga was controversially awarded the ticket.  

Brings freshness

His choice not only brings freshness to the ticket but is also meant to counter Mr Owino, who despite settling in Ugenya where Mr Orengo comes from, traces his roots to Alego.

Before decamping to the United Democratic Movement (UDM) led by Mandera Governor Ali Roba, Mr Gumbo and his deputy were in ODM and each of them wanted to vie for the county top job on the Orange ticket.

Mr Orengo was handed the ticket without subjecting other aspirants to primaries. Mr Oduol, a former CEO of Westcon-Comstor Africa, was in 2020 appointed as the regional president of multinational technology and marketing firm Gorilla Corporation to lead its expansion into the Middle East and Africa (MEA) market.

Gorilla Corporation President and CEO Carlo Tortora Brayda said that a new regional headquarter has been opened in Cape Town, South Africa with a local office in Nairobi, Kenya, to meet the demand of rapid growth.

“This expansion is in line with our strategy of expanding into the emerging markets that are expected to yield significant cost and revenue synergies.

In Mr Oduol, we have the right leader with the political capital, cultural experience and channel sales expertise in the region to drive our expansion and closely support our clients,” he said at the time.

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