UDM dismisses claim it recalled Nicholas Gumbo’s Siaya ticket

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

Photo credit: Justus Ochieng I Nation Media Group

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) has dismissed as fake messages circulating on social media that it has withdrawn a ticket issued to Mr Nicholas Gumbo in the Siaya gubernatorial race.

UDM secretary-general David Ohito told Nation.Africa that the party was not planning to do any such thing.

“What you have seen or heard is nothing but rumours circulated by weak candidates on the ground. UDM has not and will not withdraw the certificate issued to our candidate in Siaya,” he said.

The disputed messages indicated that party leader Ali Roba, the Mandera governor, was not ready to oppose Senator James Orengo’s gubernatorial bid.

Mr Gumbo, a former Rarieda MP, teamed up with police ex-spokesperson Charles Owino and joined UDM on March 29.

When the two were received by Mr Roba, they accused leaders of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) of frustrating their ambitions.
Mr Owino had declared his interest in the Siaya governor’s position through ODM but said he decamped after realising the party had a preferred candidate.

“I paid the nomination fee and was to participate in the ODM primaries but I was prevailed upon to stand down for an individual and as our character dictates, I said I would not oppose that kind of request,” he said at the time.

Formidable force

“But, unfortunately, my supporters said I must run, so we decided to team up with Gumbo and have a formidable force.”

He will now be Mr Gumbo’s running mate on the UDM ticket.

Mr Orengo is poised to clinch the ODM ticket.

Mr Gumbo said it was unfortunate that some individuals don’t understand that Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga was bigger and more popular than ODM.

“We have some people who want to turn Azimio rallies into ODM affairs and these are the enemies of Raila because their interest is selfish,” he said.

Mr Gumbo said his development record as Rarieda MP gives him an upper hand against other candidates.

Immediately after the duo joined UDM, ODM secretary-general Edwin Sifuna accused them of dishonesty.

"As the custodian of the party register, I can confirm that the two leaders are legally members of the United Democratic Movement, having joined the party on March 24," Mr Ohito said.