NOT NOW

Wait for the right time to campaign, Raila tells Homa Bay governor aspirants

Says the campaigns are diverting residents' attention from the BBI process

In Summary

• Raila said the politicking being witnessed in Homa Bay should occur only when the IEBC opens the campaign doors.

• On Saturday, politicians seeking to succeed Governor Cyprian Awiti tried to woo voters to support their bids during the burial of Mzee Opiyo Origa. 

Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo, Ndhiwa MP Martin Owino, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Governor Cyprian Awiti and Rangwe MP Lilian Gogo and Kasipul MP Ongondo Were in Ratanga, Ndhiwa constituency, on February 20, 2021
Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo, Ndhiwa MP Martin Owino, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Governor Cyprian Awiti and Rangwe MP Lilian Gogo and Kasipul MP Ongondo Were in Ratanga, Ndhiwa constituency, on February 20, 2021
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO
ODM national chairman John Mbadi, party leader Raila Odinga and Rangwe MP Lilian Gogo during the burial of Opiyo Origa in Ratanga, Ndhiwa constituency, on February 20, 2021
ODM national chairman John Mbadi, party leader Raila Odinga and Rangwe MP Lilian Gogo during the burial of Opiyo Origa in Ratanga, Ndhiwa constituency, on February 20, 2021
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO
ODM leader Raila Odinga speaks during the burial of Opiyo Origa in Ratanga, Ndhiwa constituency, on February 20, 2021
ODM leader Raila Odinga speaks during the burial of Opiyo Origa in Ratanga, Ndhiwa constituency, on February 20, 2021
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO
ODM leader Raila Odinga consoles widows of Opiyo Origa in Ratanga, Ndhiwa constituency, on February 20, 2021
ODM leader Raila Odinga consoles widows of Opiyo Origa in Ratanga, Ndhiwa constituency, on February 20, 2021
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

ROBERT OMOLLO

@robertomollo3

ODM leader Raila Odinga wants politicians eyeing Homa Bay governor's seat to suspend their campaigns and focus on popularising the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020

He said early campaigns for the 2022 polls had taken centre stage in Homa Bay and aspirants hunting for votes have diverted the attention of residents from the BBI.

Raila said the politicking being witnessed in Homa Bay should occur only when the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) opens the campaign doors.

On Saturday, politicians seeking to succeed Governor Cyprian Awiti tried to woo voters to support their bids during the burial of Mzee Opiyo Origa. Raila was present. 

The burial took place at Ratang’a in Ndhiwa constituency.

Governor aspirants who attended the burial included Homa Bay Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata, Suba South MP and ODM national chairman John Mbadi, former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, Woman Representative Gladys Wanga and former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga.

Others in the race are Senator Moses Kajwang, businessman Jared Kiasa, Kuppet secretary general Akelo Misori, Homa Bay county secretary Isaiah Ogwe, Finance executive Nicholas K’Oriko and Louis Ogingo.

Kidero took to the stage and told residents he is the only one who would economically transform Homa Bay.

He said his leadership will ensure sugarcane farmers enjoy the fruit of their labour.

 “I have traversed Homa Bay and I have understood where problems lie. I am going to turn this county around for the better,” Kidero said.

Orata said he has more experience in governance and nobody should belittle his candidature. He said his eyes are fixed on succeeding his boss.

He said Wanga, Magwanga Mbadi could still re-seek and win parliamentary seats.

“Don’t think I can serve for two terms as deputy governor and allow anyone to become a governor when I also want the seat. There is no chance,” Orata said.    

Wanga said she is the right aspirant in a race dominated by male counterparts.

Mbadi said he is the most qualified person to succeed Awiti. He said he has been elected three times as Suba South MP, hence has more experience in leadership. 

“I have a lot of experience in financial management. No one who can manage public funds better me,” Mbadi said.

Ogingo told residents not to gamble with the governor's seat.

“We must elect a person who has the interest of the people at heart,” he said.

Magwanga said his time to lead Homa bay is ripe. “You can’t write me off in the 2022 race because I know what it takes to become governor,” he said.

Awiti asked politicians to wait for the right time to woo voters. He urged residents to be calm and concentrate on their work.

The governor said Raila will give him the key, which he will pass to whoever will succeed him.

He said Homa Bay is an ODM stronghold and whoever will be nominated as the party candidate will win the race.

“I am waiting for my party leader to give me direction on who should be given the key,” Awiti said.

Raila said he will intervene at the right time. He said the party will conduct credible nominations to ensure there is peace.

“We have a big war ahead of us that requires all your efforts. Let’s first make BBI succeed after which we’ll see who takes which seat,” Raila said.

 Raila asked Homa Bay eligible youths to register as voters to enable them to participate in the forthcoming referendum.

“It’s the youth who will benefit more in BBI. Ensure you participate in the constitutional transformation we currently have,” he added.