Three to be vetted for Gumbo running mate's position

Mandera Governor Ali Roba received former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo and ex-police spokesman Charles Owino.

Photo credit: Justus Ochieng I Nation Media Group

Veteran journalist David Ohito is among three candidates to be interviewed as possible replacement of former Police Spokesperson Mr Charles Owino, who withdrew as the running mate of Siaya gubernatorial candidate Nicholas Gumbo.

Mr Ohito currently serves as the chief of staff in the Mandera County Government.

He unsuccessfully contested Ugenya Parliamentary seat in 2017, he lost to Christopher Karan of ODM.

Mr Ohito, who is also the United Democratic Movement (UDM) Party Secretary General will be battling it out with Mr Tubman Ochogo, a former Town clerk who was Mr Gumbo's running mate in 2017 and Dr Martin Baraza, a veterinarian and consultant working with an international NGO.

The UDM Party moved to fill the gap, after the former police spokesperson withdrew his candidature from the Siaya governor race after it emerged that he had not resigned from his previous job.

The unprecedented move forced the UDM to call for an interview to select the most suitable replacement for Mr Owino, an exercise they are to accomplish within 48 hours, as directed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

“I am just a candidate being interviewed by the party for the position. I would like to tell all the supporters of Mr Gumbo who is the UDM candidate in Siaya that there are many qualified candidates who can replace Mr Owino,” said Mr Ohito, when the Nation enquired whether the party had settled on him as the running mate.

Mr Ohito, said Mr Owino notified the party three days ago of his withdrawal as the candidate citing what would constitute an election offence on his side after the National Police Service raised concerns with his ‘early retirement’.

According to his UDM party, Mr Owino will be taking up a new role within the national police service.

The latest development puts the former Rarieda MP who was gunning for the seat on a joint ticket with Mr Owino, on a tight spot since they had already hit the ground running in Siaya.

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

His choice ended speculations on his preferred candidate between Mr Oduol and Dr Kevin Osuri-former Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Nyanza secretary-general.

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