With the deadline(June 24th ) for political parties to submit party list candidates for various positions before the IEBC for the August general election approaching, political parties are facing a nightmare to conduct party nominations to beat the deadline.
Within NASA, initial reports had indicated that ODM could delay preparations for its nominations as it awaited the go-ahead from its principals but the chairperson of the party’s election board Judy Pareno clarified that things were on course.
Across the NASA stronghold regions, one of the stiffest races is the Kisumu county gubernatorial race which has seen four major contestants line up for the highest office in the county. The contestants include the incumbent governor Jack Ranguma, Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o, Dr. Hezron Mc Obewa and youthful Architect Christopher Ondiek.
Our sources state that there is unease and disquiet among some of the aspirants who fear there could be unfair and undemocratic nominations. These accusations are targeted towards senator Anyang’ Nyong’o who it s claimed that majorly campaigns among ODM delegates and has been quoted saying that the party(ODM) prefers him for the position and that he will be “handed” the certificate. This has further been confirmed with rumours stating the Prof. Nyong’o paid for both the Governor and Senate nomination tickets.
Leaked reports within Governor Ranguma’s camp told us that the sitting governor is likely to decamp the ODM party with claims that he might not be handed the ODM party certificate even if he wins the nomination, this according to our sources arises from the “poor” relationship the governor has had with the party since he took over as the Kisumu County Governor. This is despite IEBC setting date for submitting party membership list to be march 19th after which the IEBC will not allow anybody to decamp.
Political analyst, Prof. Odao Gaya, says this would be a suicidal move for Ranguma. ‘’He (Ranguma) has the highest support from the whole county and if elections were held today, I think he would most probably win, so I don’t see the reason why he should shy from facing his opponents in party primaries ” he said.
According to an independent county opinion poll conducted in the month of January in all the seven sub counties in Kisumu County, Governor Jack Ranguma remains the most popular aspirant with 33% followed by at Dr.Mc Obewa 27%, Arch Chris Ondiek comes in third at 25%, and Prof. Nyong’o at 11% and 4% are yet to decide.
Governor Jack Ranguma and Dr.Mc Obewa both ail from the dominant Kano Clan (Nyando and Muhoroni constituencies respectively) .The two former friends have lately been involved in fierce verbal exchange which has created an intense rivalry amongst them. This according to political analysts indicates that contrary to the previous election where the governor garnered nearly 95% of Kano votes (which contributed widely to his election as governor), the Kano votes will be split among the two.
Prof. Nyong’o hails from Seme where according to the opinion polls he has the least percentage despite the region being his home ground.
Architect Chris Ondiek hails from Nyakach and according to the opinion polls he would comfortably lead in that region.The Architect also has an added advantage of having his maternal home being in Kano (Nyando) where according to the opinion polls he has the second highest popularity after Governor Ranguma. This comes as another disadvantage to the latter as it means he would not garner as much votes as he did in the last election in this region.
However interesting figures were revealed by the opinion polls in the other constituencies. In Kisumu Central constituency for instance , Governor Ranguma leads in popularity followed by Prof. Nyong’o, Dr.Mc Obewa comes in third and Architect Ondiek fourth. In Seme constituency, Governor Ranguma leads the pack, Arch. Ondiek second, Mc Obewa third and surprisingly Prof.Nyong’o at fourth.
In kisumu East constituency, Governor Ranguma still leads ,Dr.Mc Obewa second ,Arch Chris Ondiek third and Prof.Nyong’o at fourth position , and finally in Kisumu west constituency ,Gov Ranguma comes at first position, Arch Chris Ondiek second, Dr. Mc Obewa falls third and Prof. Nyong’o at fourth.
In a more related event, there seems to be a lineup of ‘favored’ aspirants led by Prof. Nyong’o as Governor, Outa as Senator, Ruth Odinga as Deputy Governor, Buyu as Women Rep and Odoyo as speaker. This group has been campaigning together.
Ondiek to the advantage
According to Political analyst Prof. Odao Gaya, the rivalry between Governor Ranguma and the two other aspirants (Prof. Nyong’o and Dr.Heron Mc Obewa), might work to the advantage of Architect Ondiek. “I won’t be surprised if Arch. Chris Ondiek becomes the next governor of Kisumu county, the rivalries between Governor Ranguma and the others (Nyong’o and Mc Obewa) might be so tense that he(Arch. Ondiek) might benefit”, he said.
Leaked reports indicate that Prof. Nyong’o recently told his close allies that he would rather lose the race to the Architect rather than to Governor Ranguma. These comments were allegedly made by the professor after his rally was disrupted by arrogant youth which he claimed to have been hired by the governor. Unconfirmed reports indicate that each of the other three aspirants (prof.Nyong’o, Mc Obewa and Gov.Ranguma) are willing to work with the Architect to ensure that the others do not clinch the seat.
Sources also say that there is a possibility of Prof.Nyong’o and Mc Obewa working as a unit with the latter being the deputy governor in order to send Ranguma parking. This however according to Political analysts reduces the chances of removing Ranguma from the seat. “if you ask me, Most of Kisumu county residents based on Prof.Nyong’o’s pervious s performance indices as Senator and as Seme Mp,believe that Prof. Nyong’o will not make any developmental changes in Kisumu county and a majority would rather vote in Ranguma for a second term instead of Prof.Nyong’o”, Prof.Odao said.
Speaking to Hon. Jared Okello, aspiring MP, Nyando Constituency, he said “if it happens that Arch. Chris Ondiek goes to the ballot with Nyong’o and Ranguma, there are high chances that he might get substantial votes, this is because there is a high population of voters who want a change in the gubernatorial seat but would not prefer the change to be Senator Nyong’o leaving Architect Ondiek as the “safe” candidate”. He continued to say “Others will also vote him (Ondiek) for the sake of solving a crisis that would arise as a result of the fierce rivalry between them-Nyong’o and Ranguma -that would result to intense conflicts.
According to the opinion polls 47% of Kisumu residents would prefer a shift on leadership from the governor and the senator based on their performances since they were elected. Governor Ranguma has ,according to ,a recent audit report rated as among the least performing governors in the country.
The governor has also been under serious corruption allegations in his reign and is currently among the governors to be questioned by Ethics and Anti-corruption commission and cleared before they are allowed to defend their seats. This presents an opportunity to the new comers- Dr.Mc Obewa and Arch. Ondiek- to present a case before the voters.
Previous opinion polls
According to a similar previous opinion poll conducted in November 2016, Governor Jack Ranguma had the highest chances of being re-elected at 41%, Dr Mc. Obewa was second at 30%, and Arch. Chris Ondiek was third at 15% and Prof. Nyong’o at 13%.
Going by the figures, the architect is the only aspirant that has gained popularity with all the other three aspirants dropping significantly.
“Watch his space, he is rising too quickly”, these were the words of Prof. Odao when asked about Arch. Chris Ondiek’s gubernatorial candidature.