Siaya Senator James Orengo has promised good governance if elected governor on August 9.
He said that would form the backbone of development and better services to the people.
Mr Orengo, who unveiled his manifesto at a ceremony that attracted different stakeholders from Siaya, said he would not condone corruption in his administration.
“My leadership will be anchored on good governance and nothing more. Governance free from corruption,” said Mr Orengo, who was flanked by his wife and children at Jaramogi University of Science and Technology.
“There are countries that have made tremendous strides because of good governance. Singapore has not developed because of resources; it is the leadership.”
He added: “In Siaya County today we have no single factory operating. We don’t even have a single cash crop that we can talk about in Siaya. We can say probably education is our cash crop, which again is dwindling.”
Mr Orengo also noted that the only way the county could be opened to external investors is through good governance and development of proper infrastructure.
“We must make the county accessible. We must have better infrastructure that would attract investors, which we don’t have now. Tourism cannot thrive without infrastructure. We are lucky we shall be working with the government of Mr Raila Odinga,” he noted.
He scoffed at his main opponent, Nicholas Gumbo, who is contesting the seat under UDM.
Rights of pastoralists
“The UDM party is meant to champion the rights of pastoralist communities and has no agenda for the Siaya people. We have to remain in ODM because the party’s manifesto has all that we need,” said Mr Orengo.
ODM chairman John Mbadi supported Mr Orengo’s bid, saying he is the architect of devolution and stands a better chance of implementing it if he is elected governor.
The Suba South legislator sought to downplay talk of an uprising, known as “ng’ad inywandi”, in Nyanza that is opposing ODM candidates, saying it would deny voters better services after Mr Odinga is elected President.
“If there is a seat that the ODM party cannot afford to lose is the Siaya governor’s seat. Imagine Mr Odinga being the President and back home he has a governor from a different party. We must be careful when electing leaders,” said Mr Mbadi.
He described Mr Orengo as a manager who has been tried and found capable of delivering on devolution.
“The Orange party sent Mr Orengo to Naivasha to go and develop the devolution concept. Nobody understands devolution better than him and electing him to lead Siaya is the best decision you can ever make as residents of Siaya,” he added.
Mr Orengo and East African Legislative Assembly member Dr Oburu Oginga (ODM Senate candidate) face opposition from supporters of other candidates from fringe parties and independents.
The duo received direct nominations to contest the positions. The other aspirants who felt shortchanged resorted to contesting under fringe parties and some chose to run as independents.