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January 21, 2019

Be patient on my 2022 plans, Wandayi tells Ugunja backers

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi on June 9/LAMECK BARAZA
Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi on June 9/LAMECK BARAZA

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi has asked his supporters to hold their horses about his political ambition in 2022.

Wandayi’s supporters have been advocating for him to run for Siaya governor. They have branded him ‘governor-in-waiting’.

But addressing residents in his Ugunja constituency yesterday, Wandayi told his supporters to wait for the right time. He said it is barely a year since the last general election.

The lawmaker said at the moment his supporters should support the incumbent Governor

 Cornel Rasanga.

“When that time comes and I feel like advancing my political class I will tell you. For now let us focus on the development agenda rather than politics,” Wandayi said.   

However, succession politics in Siaya by supporters of aspirants has hit the grassroots.

In some instances, there have been fist fights among supporters from different factions.

Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi’s supporters recently attacked two youths for allegedly fronting the name of a Nairobi businessman for MP in 2022.

Resident Jimmy Achich was frogmarched from his house and stripped naked before being caned. 

A second resident, Eddy Ogolla, was roughed up by Atandi’s supporters for refusing to mention the businessman, popularly known as Mijeshi, in a funds drive. “I accompanied my friends to a funeral funds drive where Mijeshi was the chief guest when the MP demanded that I record the proceedings of the event and more so what Mijeshi will say,” Ogolla said.

He said he refused because he does not work for the MP, but the Siaya county government. Ogolla said at around 10pm, he received a call to threaten him.

“Why are you deceiving Mijeshi? Do you know I can chase you away from Alego? You will know who I am,” Ogolla was told.

But Mijeshi said it is too early for politics, especially since the country is still healing from a bruising election period. “In case I am interested in any political seat I believe this is not the right time to declare my interest.”

Mijeshi asked the MP to focus on the constituency development project since he is the sitting MP.

The Nairobi businessman told Atandi to stop attacking residents based on statements over his 2022 candidature. 

Atandi denied any association with goons or attacking anyone, saying he has never heard of Mijeshi and does not know him in person.

“Who is this Mijeshi? Is he a resident of Alego Usinga? Can you send me his photo?” Atandi said in a text message. Siaya governor Cornel Rasanga has criticised the political intolerance in the county, warning against early campaigns. 

Rasanga advised politicians to focus on development and services. In February, Wandayi asked Siaya leaders to focus on development, not the political affairs of the 2022 general election.

Such talk is “useless and unnecessary” at the moment.

The lawmaker further said it is pointless to campaign early as the efforts have no impact on residents.

Regarding his ambitions, he said: “Let no one speculate on the position I will be vying for in 2022. I have my own mouth ... when that time comes I will speak.”

Wandayi’s sentiments came weeks after his close ally Austin Makamu said it is time for him to  succeed Rasanga.

Makamu cited regional balance in saying Alego Usonga had  had its turn.

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