Governor aspirants tough balancing act
Governorship aspirants seem to have factored regional balance of power in the selection of their running mates while others went for names from established political families.
The issue of clans also emerged to play a key influence especially in parts of Nyanza and the Coast.
Seven aspirants for the Kisii county governorship seat picked running mates from the county’s six clans in a bid to woo voters and for regional balance.
Chris Obure (Jubilee), Nyaribari Masaba MP Ezekiel Machogu of UDA and Manson Oyongo (KNC) picked their running mates—William Mbaka, Julius Migosi and Alfred Ndemo, respectively, from the Bogetutu clan.
Senator Sam Ongeri, Democratic Alliance Party of Kenya (DAP-K) and Racheal Otundo of Progressive Party of Kenya (PPOK) chose Eng Josiah Maaga and Evans Onyancha, respectively, from Bomachoge clan.
Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati and Josiah Onyancha (Independent) have settled on Dr Robert Monda and Juspher Momanyi from Nyaribari clan, respectively.
The major consideration is an unwritten agreement that the governorship rotates to the other sub-groups from the current Kitu clan of outgoing governor James Ongwae. The Arati camp has designated Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka who comes from the outgoing governor’s clan the Senate seat.
“I picked Momanyi from the Nyaribari clan for regional balance since I have no senator or Woman Representative. My supporters are free to support whoever they want for the two elective posts” Onyancha told People Daily yesterday.
According to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) 2017 records, Bogetutu clan has 108, 862 votes, making it a potential clan to determine the next governor.
Monda, who hails from Nyaribari - Chache and Masaba with 130,000 votes as per IEBC records says he will mobilise his Kamba nane (eight-strings sub clans) to deliver votes for Arati,
The Kamba nane clans include Bomobea, Bonyamasicho, Bonyameyio, Bonyakoni, Mwamonda, Bogeka, Mwaboto and Mwamoriango. Mbaka, Migosi and Ndemo have assured their potential bosses they will campaign to deliver adequate votes to propel them to the county’s top leadership.
In neighbouring Nyamira, governor Amos Nyaribo settled on former West Mugirango MP James Ondicho Gesami as his deputy while Nyambati has named Ereneo Nyakiba.
Momanyi who is the Borabu MP has named Tom Otuto from West Mugirango constituency who has been contesting the West Mugirango parliamentary seat unsuccessfully for the last 10 years to be his deputy governor.
Kiangoi who is a former North Mugirango/Borabu MP and one time an assistant minister for local government has picked a banker an economist Julius Mokogi as his running mate.
Okioma who contested for the seat in the last general elections but lost to the late governor John Nyagarama has picked a Moi University a lecturer Dr Charles Nyandusi as his deputy. In the county, there two major clans the Abagetutu and the Abagirango.
The Abagirango clan has twice managed to win the seat through the late governor John Nyagarama as they vote as a block against their rivals who are usually disadvantaged by fielding several candidates during polls. Nyaribo,Momanyi,Kiangoi and Marwanga hail from the Bogirango clan while Nyambati,Bosire and Okioma hail from the Bogetutu clan. Nyambati and Kiangoi support Deputy President William Ruto while the rest back Raila.
There was an interesting twist in Kwale when ODM governor candidate Hamadi Boga dropped Correctional Services Principal Secretary Safina Kwekwe as his running mate for the August 9 polls.
Kwekwe said she had incomplete work to do at the ministry.
The PS said that despite her issuing her resignation letter on February 2 she was advised to stay on in government.
“So I got orders from my boss and couldn’t leave office and up todate I am going on with the assignment across the country,” Kwekwe said.
Prof Boga unveiled Nurein Mwatsahu Ndau who comes from Mwavumbo ward in Kinango constituency as his running mate.
“Ndau’s qualifications on matters of administration and his experience of working at the county government offices as a chief officer enabled me select him as an alternative to deputize me in my bid,” Boga said.
The other major consideration was regional balance.
Ndau comes from the Duruma community, the second largest tribe in the area. Boga is a member of the Digo sub-group which constitute a considerable population in the county. Kwekwe asked Kwale residents to vote for Boga in the upcoming polls.
In neighbouring Kilifi, governorship contender Gideon Mung’aro picked the daughter of veteran Coast politician Chibule wa Tsuma’s his running mate. Mung’aro, who will be going for the county top seat on an ODM ticket, settled on Florence Mbetsa Chibule. Florence holds Bachelor degree in of Early Childhood Development (ECD) and a resident of Rabai constituency. Chibule wa Tsuma vied for president in 1992 on Kadu party ticket.
Speaking after accepting the nomination, Florence said she will put her best foot forward in the campaigns and that she will not disappoint.
“I want to thank my parents, the people of Rabai for their support and my next governor for picking me as a running mate. The task ahead of me is for us all to join hands and deliver all seats for ODM in the election,” she said.
There is growing debate that infighting between Kenya Kwanza affiliates United Democratic Alliance and Pamoja African Alliance might give ODM an upper hand to victory.
In Kakamega, Lugari MP Ayub Savula faces a battle of his lifetime after being cited as among politicians that could be barred from contesting for any seat in the forthcoming General Election.
Savula insisted yesterday he was in the race to become the second deputy governor of Kakamega County. A section of leaders allied to the Azimio-One Kenya Alliance rallied to his defence and said they would join him in the fight to clear his name.
Speaking when they addressed a series in the county, the leaders said there were no plans to replace Savula as former Ketraco boss Fernandes Barasa’s running-mate.
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and MPs Johnstone Naicca of Mumias West, Peter Nabulindo of Matungu, Aseka and Woman Representative Elsie Muhanda said due diligence was done before they settled on Savula.
In Kisumu, incumbent governor, Anyang’ Nyongo, a PhD graduate in political science received a direct ticket to defend his seat. He will retain Matthew Owili, as his running mate.
Reporting by Robert Ochoro, Evans Nyakundi, Munira Mundano, Denis Lumiti and Ronald Mwadzombo