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Orengo, Oburu get boost in Gem days after Raila tour

Endorsement said to bolster Siaya senator's inroads in race to succeed Governor Rasanga

In Summary
  • Professionals from the area were categorical that they won't campaign for Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo.
  • Elisha was in competition with Jalango Midiwo for the ODM ticket and was recently endorsed by Raila Odinga.
Siaya Senator hopeful Oburu Oginga and ODM Governor candidate James Orengo address journalists in Gem on July 4, 2022.
Siaya Senator hopeful Oburu Oginga and ODM Governor candidate James Orengo address journalists in Gem on July 4, 2022.
Image: HANDOUT

Senator James Orengo and Dr Oburu Odinga's bid to bag the governor and senator positions in the August 9 polls received a boost on Monday.

The two leaders got the backing of Gem, a constituency that had been restive to the ODM wave in Siaya county.

During a meeting held at the home of Dr Jalang'o Midiwo in West Gem, supporters of Midiwo resolved to look for votes in the constituency in support of Orengo and Oburu.

However, the team led by professionals from the area was categorical that they won't campaign for Elisha Odhiambo of ODM.

Elisha clinched the ODM ticket for Gem parliamentary seat following the party's controversial April 13 nominations.

The primaries left a wide rift between Elisha and Jalang'o camps.

Jalang'o challenged the victory six times and the matter was only settled at the High Court. In the end, Jalang'o lost and Elisha was cleared by IEBC to run.

But when he hosted Orengo and Oburu on Monday, it was clear Elisha would not get Jalang'o's support.

The meeting came a few days after Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga toured his Nyanza backyard to ask the region to back ODM candidates.

During the tour that saw Raila visit Nyamira, Siaya, Migori and Homa Bay, the Azimio presidential flagbearer said ODM needs numbers in the two parliaments.

"I need a convincing win from this region. The rest of Kenya is backing my bid but they want to see strong support from you," he said while in Gem.

"We want you to support my team in ODM from this region by voting for six-piece," he said.

Most ODM candidates seeking various seats in Nyanza and other ODM zones have been facing stiff challenges from candidates presented by Azimio affiliate parties.

Gem fell to Nicholas Gumbo in the last election after Jakoyo Midiwo left ODM and contested against Elisha as an independent candidate.

He lost but Gumbo with whom he teamed up in that election became the favourite of Gem people.

Getting Gem back into the fold is a major boost for Orengo and Oburu.

Orengo has already penetrated Alego Usonga where his running mate William Oduol comes from.

He has huge support in Ugenya and Ugunja which he represented in Parliament before devolution. His camp is gaining inroads in Rarieda where the speaker's position is likely to go and Bondo.

He is also counting on the support of all the six MPs from the county who endorsed his candidature even before party primaries.

"We need to get 100 per cent votes for Raila, Orengo and Oburu. We have agreed to mop out every vote for the trio," Jalang'o said on Monday.

Orengo and Oburu welcomed the move by the people of Gem for their support.

Orengo and Oburu had been getting resistance in the area owing to the perception by the Jalang'o camp that they were pro-Elisha.

"We will work with you to ensure the people of Gem are part of my government. I will also ensure that as we consider Gem for whatever development, the rest of the subcounties are not ignored," Orengo said.

Orengo and Oburu absolved themselves from claims that they meddled in the party primaries that saw Elisha win the ticket.

"I kept off the nominations owing to what I have witnessed in the past but if you think I had anything to do with it, then I ask for your forgiveness," Orengo said.

Oburu also distanced himself from the nominations saying he was in Arusha most of the time.

"Jalang'o is my cousin and Raila loves him. There's no way we could have played any role to deny him the certificate," he said.

Oburu took the opportunity to ask Kenyans to support Azimio.

He said Kenya Kwanza presidential candidate Dr William Ruto has been in previous governments and has never been part of the change Kenya has undergone.

"He has never been on the side of reformists. He was always on the side of previous oppressive regimes," Oburu said, adding that the DP cannot pretend to be representing the interest of commoners.

"Kenyans know who has stood with them in the fight for justice and freedom. Ruto is definitely not among the team that fought for expanded democracy dubbed the second liberation," he said.

Orengo while addressing journalists after the meeting said Raila will need numbers to deliver on his agenda.

"Raila has a good manifesto that will address most of the challenges facing the country and he needs significant numbers in the Senate, National Assembly and even in the county assemblies," he said.

Monday's meeting was attended by Gem elders, women and youth leaders and professionals from the constituency who were backing Jalan'go led by Kisumu city manager Abala Wanga and engineer Sam Opot.

 

 

-Edited by SKanyara

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