STRONG OPPONENTS

Kidero, Wanga wage fierce battle in Homa Bay governor race

Former city county boss is an independent candidate while Wanga is seeking seat on ODM ticket.

In Summary
  • Several politicians have joined Kidero in his campaigns, protesting they were shortchanged in ODM primaries.
  • On Friday, Wanga told Kidero to prepare for a resounding defeat as he is selling an unpopular political agenda.
Homa Bay gubernatorial aspirant Evans Kidero at Ndiru in Kagan ward, Rangwe constituency, on May 7,2022
Homa Bay gubernatorial aspirant Evans Kidero at Ndiru in Kagan ward, Rangwe constituency, on May 7,2022
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

Accusations are flying between ODM aspirants and their independent opponents as campaigns intensify in Homa Bay.

The battle lines are drawn between former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga who are seeking the gubernatorial seat.

Kidero is an independent candidate while Wanga is seeking the seat on the ODM ticket.

The two want to succeed Governor Cyprian Awiti whose second and final term will end after the August 9 general election.

Kidero went independent after ODM handed the ticket to Wanga following a consensus meeting in Nairobi between the latter and other aspirants like Suba South MP John Mbadi and former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga.

Other aspirants were Homa Bay Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata, former Homa Bay county secretary Isaiah Ogwe and Kuppet secretary general Akello Misori.

The meeting was attended by Awiti and ODM party leader Raila Odinga.

Kidero and businessman Louis Ogingo protested against Wanga getting the party ticket, saying they were not invited to the meeting.

The former Nairobi governor has since hit the ground running, asking residents to reject Wanga at the ballot on grounds that she was un-procedurally handed the ODM ticket.

Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga during Kasipul MP Ongondo Were's homecoming party in Oyugis on May 6, 2022
Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga during Kasipul MP Ongondo Were's homecoming party in Oyugis on May 6, 2022
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

Several politicians have since joined Kidero in his campaigns, protesting that they were shortchanged in the ODM primaries.

They accuse Wanga of colluding with ODM National Elections Board officials to give their preferred aspirants the party tickets. The party conducted its primaries in Homa Bay on April 14.

“We must stop Wanga and her accomplices from ascending to any political leadership in Homa Bay because they messed up with ODM primaries. Let’s reject them and send them home,” Kidero said.

Speaking at Ndiru market in Kagan ward, Rangwe constituency, on Saturday, Kidero accused ODM of imposing leaders on residents of Homa Bay.

The majority of ODM MCA aspirants and those seeking parliamentary seats are facing rebellion from residents due to the manner in which they got the party tickets.

Homa Bay has eight constituencies and 40 wards.

The party conducted primaries in 38 wards, Ndhiwa and Karachuonyo constituencies and for the woman representative post.

It handed direct tickets to Senator Moses Kajwang, Kasipul MP Ong’ondo Were, Kabondo Kasipul MP Eve Obara, her Rangwe counterpart Lilian Gogo, Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma, and Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo.

Former Raila aide Caroli Omondi also got a direct ticket to contest the Suba South parliamentary seat.

Kidero argued that Wanga and allies are now causing voter suppression by telling residents that they will be declared winners after elections.

“They have sensed defeat, that’s why they say they will be declared winners. Such intimidation and threats can create voter apathy, which is against a popular vote for Raila’s presidential quest,” Kidero said.

Independent candidates in Kidero’s camp are former chief advisor to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Kenneth Kambona, who is seeking Senate seat and Tabitha Nyandiek, Elizabeth Ogweno and Moline Ngala (Woman Rep).

Independent candidates are running for all the eight MP seats and 40 wards.

Kambona wants residents to reject Kajwang on grounds that he failed in his oversight role.

“Homa Bay government has a lot of audit queries due to weak oversight role played by Kajwang,” he said.

On Friday, Wanga told Kidero to prepare for a resounding defeat on grounds that he is selling an unpopular political agenda in Homa Bay.

“Kidero must agree with the consensus outcome because he was the one who was pushing for it. He boycotted the consensus meeting without giving clear reasons,” Wanga said during the homecoming party of MP Were in Oyugis, Kasipul constituency.

Wanga played an audio clip where Kidero is heard purportedly asking the party to use consensus method to nominate the governor candidate.

The ceremony was attended by Kajwang, Ndhiwa MP Martin Owino, Woman Rep nominee Joyce Osogo and MCAs nominees.

“He was given a direct ticket in 2013 and 2017 to contest governorship in Nairobi. Kidero shouldn’t be criticizsing us because he has also been a beneficiary of a free ticket,” she said.

Kajwang asked residents to vote in only ODM candidates to make the party strong.

“We’re calling for six-piece voting because ODM is the house we have in Azimio-One Kenya coalition,” Kajwang said.  

Edited by Henry Makori