Three candidates hit ground in the battle for Ugenya seat

Former Ugenya MP David Ochieng addresses his supporters outside Kisumu court on August 16,2018 after the appellant court dismissed an appeal filed by sitting MP Chris Karan. [File, Standard]

The race for Ugenya parliamentary seat has intensified as politicians await the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to set the by-election date.

Chris Karan, whose election was nullified, former MP David Ochieng and Daniel Juma Executive Director of Global Peace Foundation Kenya have already expressed interest for the seat.

Mr Ochieng will vie on Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) party while Karan is expected to defend the the seat on ODM ticket.

Mr Juma who is a member of ODM could not confirm whether he will vie as an Independent candidate or seek an alternative ticket after the party threw its weight behind Chris Karan, the former MP. The MDG candidate comes from East Ugenya Ward, while Karan hails from West Ugenya and Juma is from Ukwala ward.

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The Executive Director of Global Peace Foundation Kenya argued that East and West Ugenya have had a taste of the parliamentary seat and now it is time for Ukwala ward to rule.

Juma holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Korean Studies and Political Science from University of Nairobi. He also has a Diploma in International Studies from the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies.

“The party has not made an official communication on whether it will hold party nominations in Ugenya or not. I already wrote a letter requesting them for the same; I am waiting for an official communication. I do not trust any other declaration that has been made anywhere about the party’s candidate unless it is official,” Juma said.

Juma said if given a chance to represent Ugenya in Parliament he will come up with laws to transform the education sector and will put extra efforts to promote entrepreneurship to make it possible to fit in the education system.

“Through my networks, I want the youth to acquire entrepreneurship skills. Karan has been tried and tested. We have seen no Bills in the Parliament, no maiden speech and no representation from him. His performance is below par. The court case is an excuse he was using for underdevelopment,” argueS Juma.

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In December, ODM party leader Raila Odinga told Ugenya residents to rally behind Karan in the upcoming by-elections.

The former MP’s election was nullified by the Supreme Court on grounds that it was marred by malpractices and was thus not free and fair.

Ochieng filed the election petition arguing that the elections were not free and fair.

Karan has already hit the ground running with rallies in the constituency, including in Ochieng’s backyard in Bar Ober in Masiro where he asked residents to prepare to vote.

He exuded confidence that he will retain his seat. “Even those days he (Ochieng) was in ODM, he never won any elections. I always defeated him at the party nominations. I don’t know why he thinks he can he defeat me now. This is going to be the last election he will ever compete in, I will kill his political career,” he said.

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“Ochieng has wasted a lot of time that I could have used for development projects. We are waiting for the dates from IEBC to finish this war once and for all,” he added.

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IEBCMP David OchiengDaniel JumaODM ticketUgenya By-Election