Don’t endorse so-called loyal candidates, Gumbo tells ODM
‘Every contestant must be given a fair chance to compete for seats’
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.
Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee chairman Nicholas Gumbo in Parliament on November 2