NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga addressing a public rally at Kangemi in Nairobi on 20th June, 2017. Picture; Beverlyne Musili
Independent candidates in Homa Bay County are supporting National Super Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga although they ditched his party – ODM.
The candidates disclosed that they had buried the hatchet with the NASA leader and are now focused like their opponents in ODM and NASA, to market and popularise the presidential candidate.
“Even if we had won the party nominations and were rigged out, we would still have stood with Raila,” said Kasipul Kabondo MP Silvance Osele.
Osele, who lost the ODM ticket to Dr Eve Obara, said he would defend his seat on an independent ticket.
“The fact that I was edged out from ODM is not reason to vote against Raila. I have nothing sinister or personal against Raila and will not oppose him even in a micro minute at any rally any day,” he declared
Dr Obara has also been consistent in her campaigns, saying independents are not a threat. “If you want to go far go with the people.”
Former Ruto party loyalists decamp to NASA
Osele claimed the party primaries perfected the art of selection as opposed to the popular will of the masses.
The sentiments were echoed by most independent candidates, who lost the ODM ticket in the party primaries but are now saying boldly that Raila is not their enemy.
The leaders put up a spirited campaign during the burial of former Kasipul Kabondo MP James Mbori, asserting that Raila was their choice. The late Mbori was also an assistant minister during former President Daniel Moi’s regime
“With political stakes high and all eyes pointing to Raila, it would be wrong for me to stand in his way to success,” said independent Homa Bay senatorial candidate Fred Rabongo.
He lost to ODM’s Moses Kajwang while governor candidate Oyugi Magwanga lost to ODM’s Cyprian Awiti who is the sitting governor.
The independents drummed up support for Raila and wondered why Homa Bay ODM leaders were shying away from public campaigns.
Jubilee has curved out campaign zones in Nyanza tactfully focusing on perceived swing vote areas – Kisii and Kuria.
Rabongo disclosed that the independents will work round the clock to market Raila and if anybody wanted to wish them away as “political greenhorns” then they would be in for a surprise defeat.
“This election is crucial for every one of us. Each one’s vote counts. No one will write us off simply because we are running as independents. No, we also support similar goal… Raila for president,” he said.
Similar calls are being advanced by independents in Migori, Siaya and Kisumu counties.
Independents Ochillo Ayacko (Migori) and Nicholas Gumbo (Siaya) are all marketing Raila as they step up their gubernatorial bids against incumbents Okoth Obado and Cornell Rasanga respectively. [Kepher Otieno]