Kidero leads Independent candidates onslaught against Raila in Nyanza

Nairobi County Governor Evans Kidero shares a light moment with Cord leader Raila Odinga on February 13, 2016 at a rally held in Kibra Constituency. National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on February 18, 2016 rejected a proposal by Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali to bar Dr Kidero from public office. PHOTO | COURTESY

There is a story widely shared, but never proven, that after 1966 Tom Mboya’s machinations saw Jaramogi Oginga Odinga being edged out of Kanu leadership and by extension a chance at a future presidency, the latter walked to Mboya and said: Rateng’ (Blackie, Mboya’s nickname) you have beaten me in this. But be careful because you are keeping the company of hyenas.”

What is in the public domain is that some 13 years later Jaramogi would attend Mboya’s funeral attired in shorts and ‘akala’ sandals.

Waving a flywhisk in the dead man’s face, those who attended say that Jaramogi broke into a mournful dirge singing: Rateng’ ne akweri JaKamasengre (Blackie I warned you, the man from Kamasengre). Kamasengre is a sub clan of the Suba to which Mboya belonged.

Observing Luoland politics some 56 years later and it seems the Jaramogi-Mboya feud is playing out, albeit in a low manner and via what we can call proxies.

Ever since Orange Democratic Party settled on Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga as its candidate for the gubernatorial seat, one man has been on the warpath.

While reports emerged that Wanga was picked as a result of a consensus involving all the aspirants who had expressed interests in the seat, former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has been on the warpath ever since, saying that he was not party to the whole deal.

Kidero and his supporters believe that there was no fairness and that a straight nominations exerscise should have been conducted.

While the Kidero wing believe that what they are fighting for is their democratic right, others see a bigger picture- Kidero is Mboya’s son in law while ODM leader Raila Odinga is Jaramogi’s son.

Journalist turned politician Bernard Omondi is one of those who believe that Kidero is angling to one day inherit the clout Raila has on Luo politics, an ambition he says is misplaced.

“Someone should tell Kidero that the support Raila has in Luoland was not because of money. In fact, when he was leaving Ford Kenya to found the National Development Party, Raila was not even in the top echelons of Ford Kenya- money wise or rank wise.

It is due to his tenacity and simple public appeal that has elevated him to where he is now,” Omondi who will be vying for the West Kanyamkago Ward on an ODM ticket says.

Omondi claims that the former Mumias Sugar CEO has orchestrated many machinations some which go contrary to the party he says he supports, ODM.

“Many in the party’s echelons of power know that these schemes started way back when Otieno Kajwang’ died and the fight for his replacement began. We know that Kidero was opposed to Moses Kajwang’ succeeding his brother but his efforts were thwarted,” he says.

However, the recent party nominations have deepened the chasms between Kidero and ODM. The former Governor maintains that the ticket for Homa Bay should have been awarded after a fair election and not the direct ticket dished out to Wanga.

It is as a result of this that he has been on the Independent path seeking to upset Wanga at ballot box. He has a number of those who believe they lost the nominations in underhand schemes and not in a fair fight.

“One thing that baffled us was that the party purported to use opinion polls for before issuing tickets. How can you rate an aspirant against a sitting MP on matters like CDF, performance and other such indicators? I believe trickery was involved in the whole matter and that is how in Karachuonyo the name of a Ford Kenya candidate appeared in the polls, the same as in Suba South where a DAP-Kenya candidate was presented. Since the party is funded by the public I believe it is only fair that it shares the results of the polls with the public,” says a former ODM aspirant who has since left the party but chose to remain anonymous.

Call it the Kidero effect or otherwise but the rise of the independents has been even stronger in Kisumu County. There has been a talk of ‘Kalausi’, w whirlwind, as those who feel they were rigged out by the ODM system group together to preach an anti-six piece gospel.

The ODM top brass has been traversing Nyanza calling for a uniform vote for all the six seats on offer, a situation the independents is vehemently opposed to.

But Kisumu town politician Richard Ogendo plays down the ‘Kalausi’ effect, stating that the name was only associated with a Kisumu politician Ouya whose nickname is Kalausi. “I believe Baba (Raila) will still carry the day in this County,” he said.

The independents of Kisumu held a meeting titled ‘Reject’ early in the week where they urged the electorate to look at each candidate on individual capacity and not the party they ran on.

Among those who attended the meeting were former Governor Jack Ranguma, former Speaker Onyango Oloo, outgoing Senator Fred Outa and Woman Rep aspirant Valentine Anyango Otieno.

“To reiterate the voice of the Women and Youths of Kisumu County that "Six peace" voting system is a conduit of bad leadership and mediocrity. It goes against the spirit of democracy and steals the gains made towards a " A Government of the people by the people",” she later posted on her social media handle and which drew the immediate ire of ODM supporters.

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