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September 22, 2017

Prodigal son Maangi returns to ODM after 2-year JP flirtation

NASA Presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga with Kisii Governor James Ongwae and his Deputy Joash Maangi at Gusii Stadium on May 17./ANGWENYI GICHANA
NASA Presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga with Kisii Governor James Ongwae and his Deputy Joash Maangi at Gusii Stadium on May 17./ANGWENYI GICHANA

Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi says he is a faithful ODM supporter following his return to the Orange fold after two years in the Jubilee wilderness.

Speaking at Gusii Stadium after he was officially received by NASA presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga, Maangi said he no longer supports President Uhuru Kenyatta’s reelection.

“I’m a faithful politician and I’m now back home. I will campaign for our reelection with Governor Ongwae. I will also root for NASA presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga,” he said.

Maangi said the Gusii region is a NASA zone.

“I have traversed the entire county, spoken with locals and I can confirm this is a NASA stronghold,” she said.

Raila said Maangi is his friend and recounted how the deputy governor hosted him in the US on several occasions.

Maangi, an advocate, lived in the US before returning to Kenya to plunge into politics.

“I want to welcome my friend Joash Maangi to ODM. He had decamped to the losing camp, but he is now back,” Raila told the crowd that braved a downpour to listen to him.

When he decamped from ODM, Maangi became a key point man of Deputy President William Ruto in Kisii and hosted the him in the region many times.

Maangi was later named to President Uhuru’s campaign team in the region.

He led Senator Chris Obure and Bomachoge Chache MP Joel Onyancha in defecting from ODM to JP.

Speaking to journalists in his office on Monday, Maangi defended his decision to rejoin ODM.

“I never resigned from ODM. I’m now loyal to the party and its leadership,” he said.

Maangi added, “Some people were unhappy with me in the Jubilee Party. The same people who called me a tumbocrat when I led a delegation to DP Ruto’s home later joined me on trips to State House.”

He said his two-year association with the national government led to the construction of some roads.

Maangi said he will campaign to ensure Ongwae beats Obure.

“Obure must explain what he has done for the community for the years he has been in the Senate. We will beat him hands down,” he said.

Maangi was seeking the Jubilee ticket to challenge Ongwae at the ballot, but was prevailed upon by Ruto to drop his bid in favour of Obure.

Obure garnered 208,091 votes against his opponent Alfred Nyangweso who got 4,782 votes.

Others in the governor race are Manson Nyamweya (KNC), Lumumba Nyaberi (Wiper) and Boniface Omboto (Maendeleo Chap Chap).

Obure decamped from ODM a year ago and joined the ruling party citing lack of development in the opposition.

A March survey by Trends and Insights for Africa showed Ongwae would be likely to win the polls if they were conducted at the time.

Sixty-three per cent of respondents said they would vote for him.

The survey was conducted between February 16 and 18.

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