Inside Politics

Governor aspirants struggle with running mate choices

Tuesday, March 15th, 2022 07:04 | By
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria kicks off journey to find a running mate in his bid for Kiambu Governor race. PHOTO/COURTESY

Governor seat aspirants across the country are racing against time to identify suitable running mates ahead of the deadlines set by respective parties.

A survey by People Daily established that majority of the candidates are yet to identify or name their preferred running mates.

The tough balancing act required in identifying a suitable running mate for a gubernatorial candidate has seen some aspirants replace their initial choices to reflect the local political dynamics.

In Kisii, Nyaribari Masaba MP Ezekiel Machogu who is seeking the county’s governor seat on the UDA ticket recently dropped his initial nominee John Momanyi for veteran lawyer Migosi Ogamba in a move seen as calculated to appease the electorate in the larger Kitutu clan.

Machogu hails from the larger Nyaribari clan and it is politically pragmatic to have a running mate from the rival clan. Ogamba hails from the Kitutu Chache South area.

Another candidate for the same seat, Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati, who hails from Bobasi, has picked former Nyaribari Chache MP Onsare Monda as his running mate.

This even as ODM extended the period for gubernatorial aspirants to pick running mates. Initially, the party had set last Sunday as the deadline.

ODM National Elections Board (NEB) chair Catherine Mumma, in a communication circulated to all aspirants seeking the governor’s post on the party ticket, said they now have upto March 23 to pick deputies.

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o who is defending his seat on ODM ticket, has stuck with his current deputy Mathews Owili.

Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, who officially ditched Jubilee last weekend to join Ford-Kenya on whose ticket he will seek to reclaim the Bungoma governor’s seat is said to have picked his former deputy, Hillary Chepkwony as running mate.

Siaya senator James Orengo, who is seeking to replace outgoing Governor Cornel Rasanga, is also said to be struggling to identify a deputy.

Sources hinted to People Daily he could settle on former governor’s aspirant William Oduol Denge, to win over the numbers from the latter’s Alego Usonga background.

In Migori county, area Senator Ochillo Ayacko, Woman Representative Dr Pamela Odhiambo and former cabinet minister Dalmas Otieno all seeking to replace the incumbent Okoth Obado are having a hard time picking their running mates.

In Homa Bay, gubernatorial candidates John Mbadi, Gladys Wanga, Isaiah Ogwe, Evans Kidero and Akello Misori are also yet to name their running mates. Misori said the party had given them room to consult further, referring to the extension of the deadline from March 13 to 23.

In Vihiga, the leading gubernatorial hopefuls led by the incumbent Wilbur Otichilo, Sabatia MP Alfred Agoi and area senator George Khaniri are also yet to name their running mates with only Francis Ominde having handpicked Wycliffe Chabaya to deputise him.

Ominde who is also a former county secretary, expressed confidence that he had cleared the first important hurdle ahead of his opponents by picking the youthful Chabaya.

In Embu, the governor’s aspirant on the Devolution Empowerment Party ticket Lenny Kivuti suffered a big blow after his nominee for the position, former Manyatta MP Emilio Kathuri defected to the Jubilee party and declared that he would also go for the seat.

While addressing jubilee aspirants in Embu town, Kathuri described the ‘Bus’ party as a vehicle that had developed a mechanical problem.

“I alighted from the Bus when I realised it was going to take us nowhere, the bus developed mechanical problems as it approached the Nithi bridge so I just jumped out,” said Kathuri.

More on Inside Politics