Don’t en­dorse so-called loyal can­di­dates, Gumbo tells ODM

‘Ev­ery con­tes­tant must be given a fair chance to com­pete for seats’

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Nyanza - LAMECK BARAZA @lameck­baraza

Rarieda MP Ni­cholas Gumbo has warned ODM lead­ers against en­dors­ing spe­cific as­pi­rants “un­der the guise that they are more loyal to the party than oth­ers”.

He said vot­ers should be al­lowed to ex­er­cise their demo­cratic rights. “Peo­ple who bring down in­sti­tu­tions have been get­ting into lead­er­ship through party en­dorse­ments and that has left many Kenyans fac­ing poverty, even in the era of devo­lu­tion. Cor­rupt lead­ers live like kings,” Gumbo said.

He spoke on Fri­day dur­ing a funds drive for 64 women’s groups at Bar-kalare Pri­mary School in Gem con­stituency.

Present were MCAs Joseph Kawuor (Yala Town­ship), Christo­pher Apiyo (South Uy­oma) and Booker Otieno (East Gem).

“Ev­ery con­tes­tant must be given a chance to com­pete and the elec­torate should have the op­por­tu­nity to vet can­di­dates,” Gumbo said.

He said can­di­dates in­vest a lot in cam­paigns and it is only fair to lose at the bal­lot, rather than be­cause in­flu­en­tial party mem­bers favoured a cer­tain can­di­date.

Gumbo has de­clared his in­ter­est in be­com­ing Si­aya gov­er­nor. He will face off against in­cum­bent Cornel Rasanga, Wil­liam Oduol, and Carey Orege for the ODM ticket.

Rasanga is viewed as the pre­ferred can­di­date, plac­ing him at log­ger­heads with other hope­fuls.

Gumbo said, “There should be no can­vass­ing for county posts. Any­body who wants to vie for a po­si­tion should do so, ir­re­spec­tive of where he hails from.”

He said the era of pow­er­ful politi­cians who force res­i­dents to vote in a cer­tain di­rec­tion be­came a thing of the past with the en­act­ment of the 2010 Con­sti­tu­tion “which ODM cham­pi­oned”.

Gumbo said ODM lead­ers can only give ad­vice on what qual­i­ties to look for in a good leader, but not force res­i­dents to vote for cer­tain can­di­dates “just be­cause they are per­ceived to be loyal to the party”.

He ex­pressed con­fi­dence he will win the ODM ticket. “My devel­op­ment track record speaks for it­self and I am ready for any chal­lenge in 2017,” Gumbo said.

“I will repli­cate my good per­for­mance in Rarieda con­stituency in the en­tire county. My bid for Si­aya gov­er­nor is un­stop­pable. The noise from my crit­ics won’t scare me,” he said.

Last month, Gumbo told Rasanga not to panic over his gov­er­nor bid. He de­nied that he has de­railed Rasanga’s ser­vice de­liv­ery.

Gumbo said Rasanga should thank him for “bankrolling” his cam­paigns in 2013 for Sh6 mil­lion.

Rasanga has urged his ri­vals to give him time to work in­stead of con­stantly at­tack­ing him.

/JACK OWUOR

Par­lia­men­tary Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee chair­man Ni­cholas Gumbo in Par­lia­ment on Novem­ber 2

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