Homa Bay Gubernatorial contest has attracted the most moneyed

Dr Evans Kidero

Evans Kidero who hails from Asumbi has participated in several fundraisers and development projects, generously dishing out cash to assist the youth and women groups

By The Weekly Vision Online

The battle for the Homa Bay Governor’s seat in next year’s general elections has attracted a long list of, politically powerful and wealthy personalities including sitting and former MP’s to succeed the incumbent governor Cyprian Awiti. Homa Bay County is perched on the shores of Lake Victoria with its headquarters located in Homa Bay town.

The Homa Bay county governor’s seat is perhaps the leading in having attracted the largest number of contestants compared to other counties in Luo Nyanza, a region dominated by Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). Current governor Cyprian Awiti will not be defending his post after his five years two terms comes to an end next year, thus opening the floodgates for other aspirants to gamble out their resources in trying to bag the county’s most powerful office. Facts on the ground indicate that the gubernatorial contest is getting increasingly crowded with at least 13 aspirants angling to succeed Governor Awiti.

Businessman Jared Otieno

Governor Awiti first won the seat in the 2013 elections and successfully defended it in the 2017 general elections. The post has drawn candidates from diverse backgrounds, politicians current and past, a national trade unionist, an information and communication technologist and renowned businessmen.

The most prominent personalities in the race include current ODM national chairman John Mbadi, Homa Bay Woman Rep. Gladys Wanga, former Nairobi County Governor Evans Kidero and former Kasipul Kabondo Member of Parliament Oyugi Magwanga, KUPPET Secretary-General Akelo Misori and County Secretary Isaiah Ogwe. Mr Magwanga gave the incumbent a run for his money in the 2017 General Elections but lost.

The other is Evans Kidero who hails from Asumbi and has been participating in several fundraisers and development projects, generously dishing out cash to assist the youth and women groups o who has publicly declared his quest to contest; he is on record telling his opponents to prepare for tough competition from him. Jared Otieno’s financial might, human resources crowned by his youthfulness will surely leave his opponents gasping for fresh air, a resident told The Weekly Vision Online.

Gladys Wanga

“It is good to compete fairly but let my fellow aspirants prepare for a tough competition from me because am ready to fight for this seat and win it to serve the wider interests of the people of this county especially the youth and women who have over the decades been largely marginalized,” Otieno was widely quoted as saying.

The story does not stop there since the businessman is on record citing numerous projects that he claims he has initiated in the county to empower the youth and women to probably give him high chances of being elected Homa Bay County’s second governor.

As expected, Homa Bay county Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata has also declared his interest to occupy the seat when governor Awiti exits in 2022 saying: “There is nobody closer to this seat than me. Let the right time come and it is coming very soon next year when I will succeed the boss because we are proud of our development record that speaks for itself than our competitors have.”

Evans Kidero hails from Asumbi and has been participating in several fundraisers and development projects, generously dishing out cash to assist the youth and women groups throughout the county to endear himself to voters with hopes that they will propel him to the county’s coveted top seat. Mr Kidero’s handlers and political minders believe he has the best chance of succeeding Mr Awiti as governor compared to the other contestants.

KUPPET Secretary-General Akelo Misori

Given the popularity of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party in the county, there is likely to be a scramble for the party’s nomination certificate and already this is shaping up to be a high-stakes affair long before the date for the primaries is announced. This is critical because whoever bags the ODM nomination certificate is virtually guaranteed to become governor next year.

High-level manipulations are already taking shape on the ground in the county, there are also reports of the spread of propaganda, free wheeler-dealing and outright lies already taking centre stage with some cooking up allegations and counter-allegations against fellow contestants to discredit them in the eyes of the voters.

The Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga who is contesting for a seat among a whole slew of male contestants has been a victim of propaganda that she has stepped down from the race, she has since dismissed the reports as fake news. Gladys spoke during a women’s empowerment programme at Riat village in Ndhiwa, she said the decision to run for the governor seat is irreversible terming the rumour as “baseless political propaganda”.  

She was widely quoted saying: “I have heard some people saying I am defending my seat while others say I am eyeing Rangwe parliamentary seat. Let them stop the baseless cheap political propaganda.”

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