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Careers at risk as veterans felled by race for public office

Last week’s General Election has temporarily buried the political careers of some of the big names in Western and Nyanza regions.

The ramifications of the defeat of the bigwigs is evident by their silence and abrupt disappearance from the limelight in the days after the elections that have got a clean bill of health from regional and international observers.

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In Nyanza, political giants who lost are back to the drawing board, with some lining up lawyers to take their grievances to court.

Among those who lost are Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma, who lost to Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o and Jakoyo Midiwo, who lost his Gem seat to Elisha Odhiambo. Outgoing Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo also found himself in the cold when he failed to unseat Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga. 

Long serving

Ranguma has kept out of the eye of the media, but Mr Midiwo, a long serving politician, said he would challenge Mr Odhiambo’s election in court.

Midiwo, a fiery opposition politician both in and outside Parliament, yesterday insisted he had been rigged out, just as happened during the ODM nominations.

“I will go to court but will respect it’s judgement. Remember we had the right to move to court to report the returning officer. I will go to court because that is the will of my people who deserve better leadership,” he told The Standard on Monday.

Dalmas Otieno lost his Rongo seat to businessman Paul Abuor. Others are Migori Senator Wilfred Machage whose gamble to contest for the Kuria West parliamentary seat instead of defending his seat failed to pay off. Omondi Anyanga relinquished his Nyatike parliamentary seat, which will now be taken over by trade unionist Tom Odege.

In Busia County, Ababu Namwamba, who lost his Budalang’i parliamentary seat to Raphael Wanjala, remained defiant, saying his political career was not yet over.

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Namwamba said he was on a two-week vacation and would return to active politics in preparation for the 2022 elections, where he hinted that he might eye a bigger office.

“I am enjoying a two-week holiday then I will be back in full force. I am very happy that despite losing, we delivered votes for President Uhuru Kenyatta,” the former ODM party secretary general said.

“Western Kenya is witnessing a new dawn and exciting moments. We have a complete generational transition in leadership. This is the new consciousness we talked about a year ago. It has worked by helping to hand President Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, a very broad based nationalist mandate,” he said.

Bull fighting

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale has refused to concede defeat after losing to Wycliffe Oparanya in the governor’s race. Mr Oparanya bagged 383,053 votes against Mr Khalwale’s 133,287.

Oparanya has jokingly indicated that he would put Khalwale in charge of bull fighting, a game the senator cherishes.

Speaking in Kakamega town, Khalwale said Oparanya’s victory was not genuine as the incumbent’s popularity rating had dropped drastically prior to the election.

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“He could not have won the election, we are of the opinion that he was assisted to rig,” said Khalwale.

Khalwale, who was accompanied by outgoing Shinyalu MP Silverse Anami and local Ford-Kenya candidates who lost in the elections, said there was sufficient evidence to prove there were electoral malpractices.

However, asked whether he would go to court, the outgoing senator said: “I have not said that I will contest the results, but I have dismissed his win and the results.”

The Ford-K deputy party leader confided that he had made a formal complaint about an IEBC officer who he claimed received a bribe from a senior county official in order to rig the election.

“I call upon my supporters to remain calm as we pursue this matter through available avenues provided for by law. We shall fight until our victory is given back to us. It is not a small matter as some people may think,” he added.

He called on police to investigate the bribery.

According to him, an IEBC official received a bribe while vote tallying was going on at Kakamega School.

Outgoing Teso South legislator Mary Emaase indicated that she would go to court to challenge the election of Geoffrey Omuse.

Election day

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“I am privy to information that a leader influenced the elections in Teso South. I will go to court to get justice. The campaigns and election day were marred by violence as my supporters were beaten and vehicles belonging to them damaged,” she added. Busia ODM youth leader James Anyango challenged Emaase to sue IEBC.

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