Woman fights to shake off male rivals for Senate ticket

ODM Kisumu senatorial aspirant Rose Kisia addresses residents of Kondele in Kisumu county on April 20 2017 during her campaign. PIC BY COLLINS ODUOR

Nyando MP Fred Outa, Prof Israel Kodiaga, Ocholla Ogoda, Rose Kisia, Tom Ndalo and Otieno Odongo are in the race to replace senator Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o.

Nyo’ng’o has joined the race for governorship in a bid to unseat incumbent Jack Ranguma.

Dr Kisia, immediate former Kisumu Tourism Executive is the only woman in the race and has vowed to turn tables on her male opponents.

Both Dr Kisia and Ogoda hail from Nyakach, and Nyakach elders have on several occasions differed over who between them should be endorsed. Although Ogoda now lives in Muhoroni, he originally hailed from Nyakach.

Clannism has been a major factor in the campaigns with the Nyakach clan insisting that the seat should be taken by one of their own.

Woo supporters

“I will ride on the strength of women and beat all the men,” claims Kisia who is busy trying to woo more supporters. The aspirants, who are all in ODM, will on Monday participate in primaries knockout.

Prof Kodiaga, who left a high-paying job at a South African university to venture into politics, expressed confidence of winning the seat.

The aspirants are seeking to play an oversight role, represent the county and protect its interests, alongside that of its one million plus population and their government, come August 8 polls.

This is one of the motivating reasons why they are all battling for ODM nominations scheduled for next week, ready to take up the challenge. Outa says he is inspired by the Senate seat to go and check the governors and stop them from excessive abuse of power and misuse of public resources.

He says the governors must account for all monies disbursed. “I will closely monitor and question the regular disbursement of funds to the counties through appropriations made in county assemblies and the national government,” he says.

Outa is also optimistic that he will win the seat, saying he understands well the legislative functions and oversight role having served as the member for Nyando for two consecutive years.

He says he will also bridge the gap between the Senate, County Assembly and the County Executive to harmonise their activities so that each of the three arms do not conflict in roles

In the current system, Kisumu County Assembly frequently found itself at loggerheads with the Executive because of lack of clear understanding of their stipulated constitutional roles.

‘’Part of our work when I take over the Senate seat will be to hold the Executive accountable to funds appropriated for various development activities,” said Kodiaga.

Track record

Kisia and Ogoda, Odongo and Ndalo also think that they can play the role better and have been going round convincing voters to elect them. This shows the level of confidence that each of the aspirants have for the Senate seat.

“I am not asking your votes to go and sleep in the Senate. No, am going there to be the custodian of your money,” Kisia says.

As the County Executive member for Tourism in the Kisumu County, she seized the opportunity to tour the county and build good rapport with residents.

Kisia claimed Senate required a woman with distinguished leadership track record and also someone who well understands the Executive, legislative and oversight functions articulated in law.

Ogoda says that voters need a change of guard. “Don’t elect leaders based on political experience. Do so based on new management concept which people like Ogoda have,” he claimed.

Odongo said Senate needs experienced people who thrive on generational wisdom like him.

But Kodiaga said Prof Nyong’o can only be replaced with an equally lettered man like himself. With his age, he believes he has all the experience to provide the best leadership. He also vowed to restore sanity in county legislation.

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