Kisumu county Gubernatorial Aspirant Chris Ondiek address aspirants during Orange Democratic party Nationwide youth Aspirants meeting held at the ODM headquarters in Nairobi on 21/03/2017. Photo by WILLIS AWANDU
With only a few days remaining before the Orange Democratic Movement party primaries begin, the race for the Kisumu governor’s seat has taken new twist with aspirants now scrambling to win over the various clans forming the county’s voting blocs.
Over the weekend, three aspirants took their campaigns to Nyakach Constituency where they met elders from the 11 clans in a bid to woo the votes of about 100,000 potential voters in the constituency even as they continue to put Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma under pressure over stalled development projects.
Senator Anyang Nyong’o, businessman Hezron McObewa and architect Chris Ondiek all sought the blessings of elders from different clans in Nyakach whom they hope will speak in their favour
Nyong’o and Ondiek met different factions of elders from the larger Kadianga clan in seperate events.
McObewa also met some elders and youths at Sang’oro and Katito and claimed that these groups would back his bid for the governorship. He had earlier met elders from Ombeyi in the larger Kano clan who endorsed his bid.
Centre of interest
Ondiek told The Sunday Standard that the Nyakach clans had become a centre of interest for many aspirants, including those that are eyeing the Senate and the county MP seat. This is because of the huge influence these clans command.
The architect, from the Kadian’ga clan, noted that clannism would play a key role in the forthcoming party nominations.
“All the 11 clans in Nyakach have already endorsed my bid given that I am the only candidate from the larger Nyakach who has shown a strong interest in the governorship,” said Ondiek.
In his two-day campaign, Nyongo’ was accompanied by Nyando MP Fred Outa who is seeking to become senator.
The two leaders said many projects have stalled mostly because funds allocated to these projects had been embezzled. “Once we are elected, we will ask the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate claims of corruption in the Ranguma government,” said Outa.
Ranguma said he was unconcerned about the spirited tours by his rivals, and noted that he too had received the backing of elders from a number of clans.
Last week, 4,500 professionals endorsed him for a second term. They said Ranguma had spearheaded the launch of several projects and deserved to be re-elected.