Inside Politics

List of Gusii leaders who have dumped Ruto for Raila

Tuesday, March 1st, 2022 18:16 | By
Raila Odinga receiving defectors from the UDA in September last year at Chungwa House. PHOTO/COURTESY

In recent weeks, the country has seen a section of leaders from the Gusii community who previously swore their allegiance to Deputy President William Ruto switch their support to ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Here, we will reveal some leaders who left or are contemplating leaving DP Ruto's camp for Raila's Azimio. The leaders include:

Omingo Magara

On Monday, February 28, DP Ruto suffered a significant blow after his ally from Kisii County, Omingo Magara, resigned as UDA's treasurer.

Magara, who is eyeing the Kisii governor seat, said he quit Ruto's UDA party because it is not democratic; hence its primaries would not favour his political aspirations.

The former South Mugirango announced at a local hotel in Kisii while he was done in colours affiliated to the Azimio la Umoja movement.

"The UDA party cannot sufficiently address my political future and ambitions. I therefore immediately resign as a party member and as a treasurer," he said.

Political pundits argue that the entry of Nyaribari Masaba MP Ombaki Ezekiel Machogu into UDA and his eventual announcement that he would be running for the governorship seat could have triggered Magara's decision to quit Ruto's side.

Anthony Kibagendi

Anthony Kibagendi last week also announced his move to leave UDA just days after resigning as the Director of youth affairs in the office of DP Ruto.

Kibagendi, a former youth league leader in ODM, decided to go back and support Raila Odinga ahead of the 2022 General elections.

In 2017, Kibagendi was eyeing the Kitutu Chache South seat on an ODM ticket but left the party following internal wrangles that led to the party handing over its ticket to Samuel Omwando.

Soon after leaving ODM, Kibangendi joined Jubilee that handed him a ticket to run for the parliamentary seat during a by-election, but he lost to Richard Onyonka.

Last week, Kibagendi was received back to ODM by Odinga and Kisii Governor James Ongwae, and he now intends to run for the Kitutu Chache South MP seat in the coming elections.

"I am in the Azimio la Umoja Movement and will ensure that we deliver," he said.

Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi

For a long time, Kisii Deputy Governor Maangi was a close associate to Ruto, which made many people believe that he would be the DP's point man in the region.

Maangi changed his political allegiance to ODM last December when he led a delegation of Kisii leaders to Raila Odinga's home in Kisumu.

Maangi, who assured the Raila of his support, will also vie for the Kisii County governor seat under the ODM party ticket.

Former Kisii town mayor Samuel Omwando

Samuel Omwando, who is eyeing the Kitutu Chache South parliamentary seat, has defected twice to ODM in the last four years.

His latest defection was immediately after he lost the Kitutu Chache South parliamentary seat on the ODM ticket after he fell out with Governor Ongwae, prompting him to join UDA.

However, last year Omwando was amongst hundreds of defectors from Kisii County who were welcomed back to ODM by Odinga at Orange House. Omwando decided to rejoin ODM after talking with Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati.

During the Orange House meeting, Omwando assured Odinga of his support.

"We shall support Odinga for the presidency and also ensure that Simba Arati becomes the next Kisii County Governor," Omwando said.

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