Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Thursday, 17 Nov 2016 15:20 EAT
Siaya senator James Orengo has finally entered the gubernatorial race after months- long speculations about his candidature. The senator officially filed his application with Orange Democratic Movement on Monday, according to impeccable sources contacted by the Kenya Free Press.
The said sources confirmed that Mr Orengo paid the requisite Sh250,000 fee for participation in ODM governorship nominations. News of his entry into the race is set to unsettle the incumbent Cornell Rasanga and three other aspirants who have declared for the seat. Mr Orengo was PM for Ugenya constituency four times and in 2013 he became the senator for Siaya, a career that has given him enormous reach and contacts among voters. He is equally a towering nationalist who is credited with struggle for democratization and constitutional reforms in the country.
Five of the region’s six MPs have indicated their readiness to support Mr Orengo’s ambitions. While Mr Rasanga has earned the support of Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandai, Mr Orengo’s candidature has been championed by National Assembly Minority leader Jakoyo Midiwo (Gem), David Ochieng (Ugenya), and Dr Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), while Parliamentary Accounts Committee chairman Nicholas Gumbo is gunning for the seat himself but is reportedly ready to sacrifice his interest for the sake of removing Rasanga from power.
Among voters, opinion is more diffused about whether Mr Orengo would best serve as governor or continue in his position as senator. There are those think that, just like with Kisumu senator Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o who is also interested in the governorship, Mr Orengo’s absence from the national scene would imperil that campaigns of CORD leader Raila Odinga who needs experienced political lieutenants now more than ever as he make a final stab at the presidency.
The writer is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Homa Bay County