Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Monday, 05 Sep 2016 18:10 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
A day after Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya announced his intention to defect from the ODM party for fear that he might not get the party's nomination in 2017, another ODM governor, this time from Nyanza, has expressed the same fears.
Siaya Governor Cornell Rasanga, who was catapulted to the position by a bloody fallout in the party's nomination in 2013, hit out at ODM on Sunday, warning that the party risked losing support unless it can restrain its local power-brokers who are undermining the governor.
Rasanga wondered why the party was silently watching as his opponents tore into his leadership as they prepare to challenge him in the forthcoming general elections. He accused his opponents, who include Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo and former PS Carey Orege, of waging a nasty campaign against him.
He said his intention to serve the electorate is being adversely affected by the ‘hate speech’ campaign against him. “When people interfere with the eggs of a brooding hen, it will end up not hatching,” stated Rasanga to the amusement of the crowd that attended his function at the Sidindi home of Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi.
Mr Wandayi is the ODM national director of political affairs. The large gathering of local ODM activists was an emphatic show of support for Rasanga's re-election bid. A number of local party officials from Ugunja constituency however exchanged words with Rasanga at the event.
In his address, the governor did not cite names, but his audience was aware of the active grassroots campaign that Messrs Gumbo and Orege have undertaken in recent months. Mr Orege is the Siaya County ODM secretary, meaning that the entire local party leadership has been arraigned against Rasanga.
The Governor was accompanied by Siaya women representative in the National Assembly Christine Ombaka, MCAs Andrew Omwende (Sigomere), Martin Otieno (Ugunja), and Mary Ajwang (Nominated) among other leaders.
Mr Wandayi said he supported Rasanga's re-election since the governor had shown his development consciousness and had remained a loyal supporter of ODM.
The MP said he would contest the governor's seat after Rasanga's second term. Current senator for Siaya James Orengo and Nairobi businessman William Oduol have also declared their interest in the seat in 2017.