Raila’s headache as Orengo, Ruth eye gov­er­nor­ship

They in­clude Orengo, Midiwo, Rasanga, Ranguma, Ny­ong’o and his younger sis­ter Ruth

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - LAMECK BARAZA AND FAITH MATETE @TheS­tarKenya

Si­aya Sen­a­tor James Orengo and Kisumu Deputy Gov­er­nor Ruth Odinga have en­tered the Si­aya and Kisumu gov­er­nor races re­spec­tively.

This will pro­vide a fresh headache for Cord leader Raila Odinga and ODM ahead of the pri­maries next year. Orengo is a close ally of Raila while Ruth is his younger sis­ter.

They will face Raila’s other close al­lies and staunch sup­port­ers in the pri­maries.

In Si­aya, Orengo is ex­pected to bat­tle it out with in­cum­bent Cor­nel Rasanga, busi­ness­man William Oduol, Rarieda MP Ni­cholas Gumbo and for­mer PS Carey Orege.

Sources said plans are un­der­way for Orengo to meet Ugenya el­ders at his home for bless­ings and to for­mally declare his in­ter­est at Si­aya Sta­dium.

Orengo will be rid­ing on his vast ex­pe­ri­ence in pol­i­tics and his ad­vo­cacy for democ­racy.

How­ever, some county lead­ers have pub­licly de­clared their pre­ferred can­di­date in the Si­aya gov­er­nor race.

Rasanga has re­ceived pub­lic en­dorse­ment from county and other Nyanza lead­ers.

Dur­ing an ID cam­paign drive in Ahindi Gar­den, Si­aya town, last month, Ugunja MP Opiyo Wan­dayi and Si­aya woman representative Christine Om­baka en­dorsed Rasanga.

Wan­dayi, a close ally of Raila, said they will only con­sider loyal party mem­bers for top county po­si­tions, like Rasanga, who has been tried and tested.

MIDIWO VS ORENGO

Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo is work­ing closely with Gumbo and Oduol af­ter part­ing ways with Orengo. He has said he will name his pre­ferred Si­aya gov­er­nor can­di­date in December.

Midiwo and Orengo are said to have parted ways af­ter fail­ing to agree on a list that would have seen Orengo run for Si­aya gov­er­nor and Midiwo as sen­a­tor. Orengo has pro­posed Oburu Oginga for the Se­nate seat.

Midiwo and Wan­dayi are not read­ing from the same script on who should be the next gov­er­nor. Wan­dayi is ad­vo­cat­ing Rasanga’s re­elec­tion while Midiwo has sworn to dis­lodge Rasanga.

RUTH’S SEC­OND AT­TEMPT

In Kisumu, Ruth said she is ready to face in­cum­bent Jack Ranguma, Sen­a­tor Anyang Ny­ong’o, busi­ness­man Hezron McObewa, ar­chi­tect Chris Ondiek and Maen­deleo Ya Wanawake Or­gan­i­sa­tion chair­per­son Christine Atieno.

Speak­ing to the Star on Mon­day at the Kisumu County Hospi­tal, Ruth said she is con­fi­dent she will beat Ranguma in the ODM nom­i­na­tions.

“I will not be in­tim­i­dated. I’m in the race for gov­er­nor. As far as I am con­cerned, I’m the only woman in ODM run­ning for the po­si­tion. My op­po­nents should be ready,” she said.

In 2013, Ruth was pre­vailed upon to drop her bid and be­come Ranguma’s run­ning mate af­ter ac­ri­mo­nious ODM nom­i­na­tions.

She said she will not be in­tim­i­dated by vi­o­lence and vote buy­ing per­pe­trated by some men as­pi­rants. Sources say she is rid­ing on Raila’s name, but Ruth says she is her own per­son.

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Jared Okello said be­ing Raila’s sis­ter will not influence her elec­tion and cited 2013, when she stepped aside for Ranguma. Okello said Raila will en­dorse any­body for the race to en­sure free and fair nom­i­na­tions.

He said the Cord chief wants to fo­cus more on his pres­i­den­tial bid and not the back­lash that comes with bun­gled nom­i­na­tions.

Lawyer Richard On­songo said be­ing Raila’s key al­lies will not influence Ny­ong’o’s or Ranguma’s elec­tion.

He said all as­pi­rants will have to sell their poli­cies to the vot­ers. “Vot­ers will make de­ci­sions based on which can­di­date’s agenda ad­dresses their prob­lems, not who is clos­est to Raila,” On­songo said.

He said be­ing Raila’s sis­ter may com­pli­cate Ruth’s can­di­da­ture be­cause crit­ics may say lead­er­ship in Nyanza is not the pre­serve of the Odinga fam­ily.

\FILE /HEZRON NJOROGE

Kisumu Deputy Gov­er­nor Ruth Odinga in Seme on July 3. Si­aya Sen­a­tor James Orengo at the KICC

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