• Owino asked the governor to stop namedropping.
• Owino said by linking Raila to the contest, Rasanga portrays the ODM Chief as a dictator.
Former police spokesman Charles Owino has urged Governor Cornel Rasanga to stop making utterances that cause anxiety within ODM over his possible successor.
He asked the governor to stop namedropping ODM leader Raila Odinga's name in the Siaya gubernatorial race.
Owino said by linking Raila to the contest, Rasanga portrays the ODM Chief as a dictator.
“ Raila has fought for democracy all his adult life. His family suffered immensely because of this and Rasanga should stop making it look like the opposition leader is a dictator,” he said.
Owino termed as reckless and unfortunate remarks by the governor that the shoe laces ( the governor position) were handed to him by Raila in 2013 and he will be returning the shoes laces to senator James Orengo.
“ I have been telling you that these shoe laces I have were given to me by Raila. Now as I step out, I’ll hand them over to Orengo,” he said on Thursday at his home in Segere.
In a past function, Rasanga said Raila gave him the shoe laces but kept spare ones.
“ The shoe lace that you ( Rasanga ) claim was given to you by Raila was meant for your current term. The 10 years you have been in office. The ones for 2022, up to 2032 , are with the people of Siaya county ,” Owino said.
After hosting over 200 defectors from Wiper Party to ODM at his home, Rasanga publicly announced he was supporting Orengo as his preferred candidate to inherit the seat. Senator Orengo who had been listed as amongst the leaders who would receive the defectors however gave the function a wide berth.
Rasanga said in any political contest, there is always a lineup. He said as long as the contests are free and fair, the issue of a lineup should not be a big deal.
“ I am supporting Orengo for governor. In Siaya, it is the governor who will be calling the shots. I need to give direction to my people. I told you Jakom ( Raila ) had the spare shoe laces, now they have been released to me and I will hand them over to Orengo,” Rasanga said.
“ If the party decides so and so should be given direct ticket, so be it. It is the party talking,” he told journalists who attended the event at his home.
He said those who are complaining should be put to task to state what they have done to help the party.
“ Ask them what they have done for the party. You can find that they do not even have the party’s membership card , and he or she is the loudest” he Said.
He asked those complaining to give the party space to make decisions.
“ Raila has fought for democracy for a long time. You don’t expect his party to be disorganized. He is a professor of politics,” Rasanga said.
However, the governor asked fair party primaries.
“ I stand for free and fair nomination so that we avoid fallouts that can cost the party seats ,” he said
ODM chairman John Mbadi and secretary General Edwin Sifuna on Tuesday delinked the party from any predetermined lineup of preferred candidate for Siaya county seats.
On Friday, Owino who is eyeing Siaya governor seat in 2022 warned that careless statements by the governor will heavily cost the party.
“ This trend, if not stopped, will lead to voter apathy. We want people to register as voters so that we shove up numbers for Raila Odinga who is seeking the presidency,” he said.
He asked Raila to be weary of politicians whose utterances are likely to jeopardize ongoing voter listing in ODM strongholds.
“ It is unfortunate that when all indications are that Raila is edging closer to what he has been looking for over the years, then some people ( from his own backyard) want to frustrate his bid by making careless and divisive statements,” he said.
A section of Siaya residents also warned ODM against imposing leaders on them, threatening to withdraw their support in favour of rival parties including UDA should such schemes continue.
Led by Chris Owala who is the executive director of Community Initiative Action Group- Kenya, the residents said they will not allow any official of the party to disenfranchise Siaya voters.
Addressing journalists at Kisumu Public Service club, the residents said any official of ODM, both at the county and national level should be stopped from any attempt to deny the electorate their civic duty to decide who leads them.
Cornell Akelo a university lecturer and a resident of Siaya who spoke at the press conference said any attempt by any political party to engage in distribution of elective seats to certain people will be opposed.
The university don noted that some of the leaders in Siaya county who are still seeking office have been in the political sphere long enough and people would like to see a change.
“ We are not against any particular candidate or politician. All we are asking for is that competition be encouraged as opposed to have seats reserved for certain individuals,” he said.
Peter Aduda , a member of Ugenya development forum who also spoke at the conference said no official of the party or leader from the county should apportion , to themselves, the role of deciding to Siaya residents , who should lead them.
“ We must strongly condemn the move or any narrative by a clique who think it is their sole responsibility to decide to all of us who should be given leadership positions,” he said.