Tough test awaits Dalmas Otieno in bid to retain Rongo seat

Rongo MP Dalmas Otieno faces an uphill task in retaining his seat in the August polls.

The MP lost the coveted ODM ticket to his long time political nemesis, Paul Abuor, in the recent party nominations and is now running for the seat as an independent candidate.

Apart from Mr Abuor, the seasoned politician will also face off with Mr Ong’ono Ng’ani and Mr Kennedy Ochola, both independent candidates.

MODERN TOWN
Being the ODM candidate for the position, Mr Abuor is widely seen as the frontrunner as the party enjoys massive support in the constituency.

But despite losing the ODM ticket, Mr Otieno is banking on his track record to retain the seat.

He is credited with changing the face of Rongo town into a fairly-modern town that many say is gradually upstaging the neighbouring Homa Bay town.

“Road networks in the constituency have greatly improved in the last five years and the CDF has been able to assist scores of poor but bright children attend schools and colleges.

“Not to mention the setting up of fish processing plant at Opapo and the development of two technical institutions at a cost of Sh239 billion.

“Rongo is one of the most developed constituencies in Nyanza courtesy of Dalmas,” Rongo CDF chairperson, Joshua Ngare, said.

RAILA ODINGA
However, in spite of his admirable track record and illustrious political career, Mr Otieno’s chances on August 8 will be tested by his perceived attempts to undermine ODM leader Raila Odinga in Nyanza region.

After the 2013 elections, in which he defeated his fiercest rival and now Migori gubernatorial aspirant, Ochillo Ayacko, Mr Otieno formed a political movement dubbed Kalausi (dholuo for whirlwind), which was largely seen as an attempt to forge a new political direction for Nyanza region.

JUBA ENVOY

The MP’s political fortunes in the region took a turn for the worse when President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed him a special envoy to Juba, South Sudan.

He would later take a low profile for over one year.

It is during this period that his greatest rival for 2017 elections, Mr Abuor, campaigned vigorously to shift the ground under Mr Otieno’s feet.

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