Rachuonyo elders endorse Oyugi Magwanga for Homa Bay governorship

Oyugi Magwanga

Former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga holds a shield and a spear after he was endorsed by elders from Rachuonyo region to run for the Homa Bay governor's seat at Kosele Stadium on January 17,2022.

Photo credit: George Odiwuor | Nation Media Group

Homa Bay Governor aspirant Oyugi Magwanga has unveiled his ten-point agenda for the county ahead of the August 9 General Election.

Mr Magwanga, who was on Monday endorsed by elders from the great Rachuonyo consisting of three constituencies - Karachuonyo, Kasipul and Kabondo Kasipul, joins a crowded field of aspirants including ODM National Chairman John Mbadi, Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga and former Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero.

Others are; Homa Bay Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata, Kuppet Secretary-General Akello Misori, Homa Bay County Executive for Finance Nicholas Koriko,  his Health counterpart Dr Richard Muga, County Secretary Isaiah Ogwe and businessman Jared Kiasa.

Mr Magwanga, who unsuccessfully contested against incumbent Cyprian Awiti in the 2017 General Election, will be making his second stab at the seat, having come second in the 2017 poll after garnering 189,060 votes against Mr Awiti’s 210,173 votes.

He contested as an independent candidate against Mr Awiti of ODM before later returning to the Orange Party on whose ticket he is seeking to make a second run.

In his ten-point agenda for Homa Bay County, Mr Magwanga said, he will seek to streamline financial systems and improve revenue collection and utilisation, improve education and ICT systems that will ensure development of ECDE, Vocational training centres, governor's scholarships and county bursaries. He also promised to develop health system and improve the provision of drugs and medical services in all health institutions in the county.

Working financial system

“I will develop a working financial system to reduce corruption and ensure revenue income. As MP for the larger Kabondo-Kasipul, I developed a financial system that made me the best performer in CDF management,” he said.

“I will seal loopholes of corruption and have a system that ensures budget allocation gives value for money.”

He noted that his administration will ensure enhanced water provision to all institutions and creation of additional water sources to address water scarcity in the area.

He also promised to ensure sustainable agricultural practices to address food insecurity and explore opportunities in the sector, improve road networks and opening up of rural access roads, development of cottage industries to harness the available opportunities and create employment, development of tourism, sports and culture, opening up of the fishing sector and constriction of fish industry in the county as well as mapping out of natural resources and opening them up for investment as well as improving forest cover in the county.

“On health, which is a crucial function of the County government, I will ensure provision of medical supplies and training of health personnel and ensure prompt payment of salaries to the staff to boost their morale,” Mr Magwanga said.

The county has eight constituencies Karachuonyo, Kasipul and Kabondo Kasipul all from the great Rachuonyo region as well as Rangwe, Homa Bay Town, Ndhiwa, Suba North and Suba South.

According to the latest Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) voter register, Homa Bay County has 509,573 registered voters spread across the eight constituencies.

This is as per the November 2021 voter register update.

Karachuonyo has the largest share of votes standing at 89,912 followed by Ndhiwa with 89,485, Kasipul has 61,482, Suba North has 55,696 and Rangwe 55,114 registered voters.

Homa Bay Town has 54,910 registered voters, Kabondo Kasipul has 53,541 and Suba South 49,433 voters.

204,935 registered voters

On Monday, Mr Magwanga was endorsed by elders from the Rachuonyo region which boasts of a total of 204,935 registered voters out of the 509,573 which gives him a head start in the contest.

He was crowned by elders who are members of the Great Rachuonyo Elders' Forum at Kosele Stadium, Homa Bay County on Monday.

Mr Phares Ogada, the chairperson of the group crowned the former MP by giving  him a spear, a shield and a traditional hat made from animal skin which are traditional tools used by the Luo community to strengthen a warrior.

Mr Ogada said they settled on Mr Magwanga after interviewing all the politicians.

He said the team vetted the aspirants based on different issues including development track record.

“Based on Magwanga’s track record during his tenure as MP where he performed above board and the past election results, he is fit to fly ODM party’s flag in this election,” Mr Ogada said.

The group’s secretary Prof Jack Ong'iyo said the coronation means Mr Magwanga is now their community’s sole candidate in the race.