Fierce competition between National Super Alliance (NASA) affiliated parties is threatening Opposition unity in Kisii.
NASA affiliate parties including Kenya National Congress (KNC), Amani National Congress (ANC), Wiper Party and Ford Kenya have fielded candidates in all the nine constituencies in the county.
Wiper Party’s Lumumba Nyaberi is competing against incumbent Governor James Ongwae who is seeking reelection on an ODM ticket. Manson Nyamweya is also running for the same seat on Kenya National Congress party (KNC).
ODM’s Janet On’gera is battling it with Norah Nyamwamu (KNC), Isabela Mose (Ford Kenya), Anne Masenge (Wiper party) and Lilian Marwa (ANC) for the woman representative seat.
For the parliamentary seat, NASA is facing an uphill task in Kitutu Chache South where the current MP Richard Onyonka who defected from ODM to Ford Kenya will be facing Samuel Omwando who clinched the ODM party ticket.
The contest between Mr Onyonka and Mr Omwando is expected to start political fireworks owing to the constituency’s proximity to Kisii town and its cosmopolitan nature.
The constituency is home to a considerable number of Luo voters who are strong supporters of ODM and NASA’s presidential candidate Raila Odinga.
Another battle ground is evident in Nyaribari Chache where ODM candidate Chris Bichage is competing against Wiper’s youthful aspirant Zaheer Jhanda.
Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC has also fielded a number of strong candidates for parliamentary seats, including Justus Mochoge (Kitutu Chache South), Abdalla Matoke (Bomachoge Chache), Lukas Mogoa (Bobasi) and Amb Abel Sagini (Nyaribari Masaba). The intense competition has raised fears that Jubilee Party might take advantage and make inroads in the region.
On Tuesday, all aspirants under the umbrella of NASA met in a Kisii hotel and agreed to work together in campaigning for Raila’s presidential bid while pursuing their own political ambitions..
They conceded that candidates in NASA affiliate parties in the region were not working as a team in consolidating their vote for the opposition alliance.
During the meeting, Governor Ongwae promised not to favour any candidate in the campaigns.
“I have never had favourite candidates, I want to work with those who the people want,” he said.