Nominated MP Oburu Oginga. Right. Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo. [File, Standard]
The rivalry between two cousins – nominated MP Oburu Oginga and Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo – has intensified.
Oburu is Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga’s brother and Mr Midiwo is their cousin.
The two have differed over their support for the candidates for the Siaya governorship.
Oburu is supporting the incumbent, Cornel Rasanga, for a second term, while Midiwo is backing Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo, who is campaigning to unseat Rasanga.
Oburu is also accusing Midiwo of supporting his political rival, Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda.
The rivalry, which first surfaced in the 2013 General Elections after Midiwo publicly campaigned for William Oduol against Dr Oburu in the governorship race, is likely to repeat itself in the party primaries.
On Tuesday, Oburu accused Midiwo of trying to be a kingmaker in Siaya County politics.
“We know what Midiwo is trying to do, but he should hold his horses because he will never get the chance to be one,” said Oburu.
Oburu further accused Midiwo of trying to manipulate an opinion poll that shows that he did not have supporters in Bondo.
“I think he has something in store trying to be a kingmaker,” said Oburu.
He asked Midiwo to keep calm and keep family affairs and issues out of politics.
“I am the eldest in the family and I have nothing against him. I have never stepped in his constituency to campaign against him and he should therefore mind his own business,” said Oburu.
Last week, Midiwo launched a blistering attack against Rasanga, saying he was not fit to lead because of his alleged failure to fight corruption in the county.
Midiwo claims the governor was at State House last Monday and that part of his agenda was to discuss with President Uhuru Kenyatta the fate of the controversial Yala Swamp following claims the American firm, Dominion Farms, may be pulling out.
Midiwo yesterday repeated his earlier claims that Rasanga was involved in secret schemes to give out the expansive swamp to yet another investor.
The Dominion group has been involved in large-scale rice growing and fish farming.
The group was reported to have threatened to move from Kenya after its owner, Mr Calvin Burgess, differed with local leaders over allegations that some of them were seeking bribes from him.
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Midiwo also asked Rasanga to clarify if it was true that bank accounts belonging to two of his allies had been frozen by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
“There is information that there’s an account frozen by anti-corruption commission and we want to know if he visited statehouse to talk about the matter,” he said.
Rasanga denied the claims, terming them blatant lies.
“These are the usual gestures and accusations from my opponents,” he told The Standard in a text message.