Raila keeps off zoning plans in Kisii, Nyamira
Azimio-One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga used his tour of Nyanza to endorse candidates for various key seats through his ODM party.
He, however, played safe in Nyamira and Kisii counties where his lieutenants are fighting for governorship.
Raila’s candidates faced resistance in some areas, especially in Migori where Nominated MP Dennitah Ghati was shouted down even as her opponent Fatuma Mohammed, who is vying for the Woman Rep seat as an independent candidate, was cheered.
Those whose hands were raised by Raila include governor candidates Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay), James Orengo (Siaya), Ochillo Ayacko (Migori), East Africa Legislative Assembly MP Oburu Oginga (Siaya Senate) and dozens of party MPs.
ODM chairman John Mbadi set the stage when he called on Nyanza residents to only vote for party candidates in the August polls. “We want ODM candidates picked from the wards (counties), National Assembly to the Senate so that our numerical strength is not scuttled in any of the legislative houses,” he said.
Addressing rallies in Siaya, Raila said individuals such as Orengo and Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o were stalwarts of the second liberation.
Raila also backed his elder brother, Oburu’s bid for Siaya Senate. This came as Raila used the example of former US President JF Kennedy, who served at the White House and his brother, Robert Kennedy, as Attorney General.
“Some people are saying I should not contest because my brother is going to be the president yet in the US JF Kennedy was the president and his brother Robert was the Attorney General. It is a contest on capability and competence, not brotherhood,” he said.
Yesterday, Raila toured Homa Bay where he endorsed MPs Eve Obara (Kabondo- Kasipul) and Charles Were of Kasipul Kabondo.
He then proceeded to Kendu Bay and endorsed Rachuonyo MP Adipo Okuome and Gwassi in Suba North where he backed Caroli Omondi and Mbita where Millie Odhiambo of Suba South bagged his support. Same applied to Ndhiwa constituency where he endorsed area MP Martin Owino.
Finally, he flew to Homa Bay town where two MPs Dr Lilian Gogo of Rangwe and Opondo Kaluma (Homa Bay Town) were endorsed. He also endorsed MPs Elisha Odhiambo of Gem, Gedion Ochanda of Bondo, Sam Atandi (Alego Usonga) and Opiyo Wandayi of Ugunja.
This came after a similar exercise in Migori, where he endorsed Rongo MP Paul Abuor, Walter Owino (Awendo), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Junet Mohammed (Suna East), Peter Masara (Suna West) and Mwita Tosha (Kuria East).
However, Kanu chairman Gideon Moi has protested the move, saying it will injure candidates of small parties affiliated to Azimio. Gideon said for Raila to get maximum support in his presidency bid, he will have to accommodate supporters from other parties.
“We need to gather all and scatter none if we want Raila to defeat opponents with a landslide. Raila will garner 100 per cent votes if we embrace all parties in Azimio,” Gideon said. In Migori, Fatuma, who lost to Ghati in the primaries, defied the ODM storm and addressed the Azimio rallies graced by Raila frequently attracting cheers from the crowd. “Although, I was mauled in the legs by a snake, I am in Azimio to stay and fully back Baba (Raila) for president,” Fatuma said.
There was a sigh of relief among governor candidates in Nyamira and Kisii when Raila urged residents to vote leaders of their choice.
Those seeking the governor seat in Nyamira include ODM Treasurer Timothy Bosire, Prof Reuben Marwanga (Kanu), Borabu MP Ben Momanyi (Wiper) Mwancha Okioma (Jubilee) and Governor Amos Nyaribo who will be running on the Progressive Alliance Party associated with Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.
In Kisii, Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati, Senator Sam Ongeri and former Cabinet minister Chris Obure are gunning for the gubernatorial seat.
Bosire had argued that the proposed zoning, if implemented, could weaken the Azimio coalition in favour of their major rival, the Kenya Kwanza Alliance.
Raila who addressed a series of rallies at Ekerenyo, Nyamaiya, Kiabonyoru and Rigoma market centres challenged his Nyanza region to vote for him as a block if it was serious in supporting his presidential bid.
The Azimio leaders urged voters to turn out 100 per cent on August 9 and overwhelmingly vote for Raila.
Nominated MP Maina Kamanda rallied for election of Raila and his running mate Martha Karua, saying they were fit to lead.
Likoni MP Mishi Mboko said they were also ready at the Coast to deliver a Raila presidency. “This game is done and dusted,’’ she said. Also present were Governors Hassan Joho(Mombasa), James Ongwae(Kisii), Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), Cornell Rasanga, (Siaya).