Otuoma’s Team In Disarray Ahead Of ODM Party Nominations 

Dr Paul Otwoma

Dr Otuoma is said to have jettisoned his already chosen running mate Fred Odilo and replaced him with former Teso North legislator Arthur Odera, a known DP William Ruto sympathiser. Mr Odera was first propelled to parliament by Ruto’s defunct United Republican Party (URP)

By The Weekly Vision Online

Busia County gubernatorial aspirant Dr Paul Otuoma’s 2022 campaign team is in total disarray just days before the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party holds its nominations excises.

Trouble in the team erupted soon after Dr Otuoma jettisoned his already chosen running mate Fred Odilo and replaced him with former Teso North legislator Arthur Odera, a known DP William Ruto sympathiser. Mr Odera was first propelled to parliament by Ruto’s defunct United Republican Party (URP).

Mr Odilo is said to have financed Dr Otwoma’s desperate and failed effort to meet the ODM party leader in Mombasa, Malindi, Lamu, Kilifi, Nairobi and Kisumu for a face-to-face meeting, Raila Odinga completely snubbed him. The snub forced Dr Otuoma’s team, “Eifumbukhe” to go back to the drawing board

Emerging facts indicate that Dr Otuoma jettisoned a man who has been bankrolling virtually all his political activities and engagements for the last two years. The most gruelling and expensive being the Azimio la Umoja campaign activities across the country, culminating in the ODM National Delegates Conference at Kasarani a few weeks ago.

Dr Paul Otwoma

Mr Odilo is also said to have financed Dr Otwoma’s desperate and failed effort to meet the ODM party leader in Mombasa, Malindi, Lamu, Kilifi, Nairobi and Kisumu for a face-to-face meeting, Raila Odinga completely snubbed him. The snub forced Dr Otuoma’s team to go back to the drawing board.

A source told The Weekly Vision Online that the situation was so bad Dr Otuoma had to seek the intervention of former cabinet ministers Fred Gumo and Phillip Masinde to secure a face-to-face audience with Raila Odinga, the request for a meeting was finally granted recently at the ODM leader’s home in Karen Nairobi. It was at this audience, where some say, Mr Odinga reportedly told Dr Otuoma that he cannot have Mr Odilo, a Luhyia as his running mate being Luhya himself, he had to choose a running mate from the Teso community.

That the whole business left Mr Odilo, Dr Otwoma’s ‘’Chief Financier’’ financially drained. The team is in total confusion and panic mode since things on the ground in Busia are in a total mess. Matters are not helped by ODM Busia County Women Rep. Florence Mutua’s strong showing in opinion polls, it’s a total nightmare for “Eifumbukhe”.

Dr Otuoma publicly dumped Mr Odilo on Monday this week, DP Ruto’s man Arthur Odera has since confirmed he has accepted the challenge of being the deputy, saying that “Otuoma was serious about his declaration to be governor.”

The source told The Weekly Vision Online that Mr Odilo will be made ‘County Chief of Staff’ in case Otwoma wins the county’s governorship. A development that did not go down well with the man from Bukhayo who had invested so much in his aspirations to be the Busia County Deputy Governor in 2022

An Insider in Dr Otwoma’s team who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter said: “Things are getting worse each day, not just because Dr Otuoma was forced by the party hierarchy to jettison Mr Odilo as his running mate, but also because Florance Mutua has completely refused to back out of the race forcing Dr Otuoma into an expansive party nomination race.”

“The source told us that Mr Odilo will be made ‘County Chief of Staff’ in case Otwoma wins the county’s governorship. A development that did not go down well with the man from Bukhayo who had invested so much in his aspirations to be the Busia County Deputy Governor in 2022, now being slapped in the face,” said another source.

An argument advanced was that Mr Odilo is a political novice in Busia County’s politics, he has never contested for any elective post while Mr Odera had already proven his political mettle as an MP. Emerging facts on the ground in Busia also indicate that Florence Mutua offers a huge threat to Dr Otuoma’s political future. When Dr Otuoma contested for the county’s governorship as an independent in 2017, a source says that he completely lost many ODM party supporters. It must not be forgotten that the doctor botched his position in ODM at the national level in the run-up to the 2017 elections together with former ODM National Secretary-General and Budalang’i legislator Ababu Namwamba.

They all gravitated to Jubilee’s Deputy President William Ruto’s camp, the move cost the duo dearly, which they may never recover from. Now Florence Mutua, an ODM party loyalist is haunting Dr Otuoma and his team, their future political aspirations are hanging in limbo.

The other aspirants for the gubernatorial contest in Busia County include the outgoing Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi who decamped from ODM to try his luck in Eugene Wamalwa’s Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP–K). He is from Marachi, he had teamed up with the immediate former County Chief Officer Educating Dan Magoria from Teso, he has since dumped Mr Mulomi to go solo, further complicating the Otuoma powerful Teso vote factor.

There is also former Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lucas Meso gunning it on Jubilee party ticket where he is reportedly assured of a certificate, and the Nambale two-term legislator John Bunyasi from Bukhayo who will be battling it out on Amani National Congress (ANC) ticket among others.

What remains to be seen is whether Dr Otuoma will be on the ballot during the August 9th polls as he desperately fights his political nemesis Florance Mutua or his fate may be sealed at the ODM nominations next week since the other opponents like Bunyasi, Meso and Magoria appear to be assured of getting nominations from their respective political parties.

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