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Raila Odinga's ODM party bags prime seats to reclaim lost glory in strongholds

Supporters of Mvita Mp Elect Soody Machelle in celebration mood outside the Mvita Tallying centre in Mombasa County during the Mvita Constituency tallying exercise on August 11, 2022. [Maarufu Mohamed, Standard]

ODM has bagged several seats and recaptured others to assert it dominance in its strongholds.

In the recent past, the outfit’s fortunes appeared to be dwindling amid competition from rival parties and independent candidates in Nyanza, Coast and Western regions. 

With the emergence of candidates contesting on others parties and as independents as well as internal wrangles in the build-up to the polls, there had been fears the 17-year-old party was headed for a crumble.

The situation had been worsened by failure by the larger Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition to endorse zoning plans as well as pockets of rejection of the six-piece vote.

Ahead of the polls, anxiety had gripped the party with officials including chairman John Mbadi admitting that the August 9 polls presented the Orange party with a litmus test to even retain its seats.

The creation of the Azimio coalition had been a double-edged sword that complicated matters for ODM and had restrained its leaders from pushing for the six-piece voting in places where other sibling parties also had candidates.

But reading from the results in Nyanza, Western and Coast, the Orange party has registered an impressive performance and won several seats with its stalwarts claiming that its dominance will continue.

In Luo Nyanza, almost all ODM MPs retained their seats with the party also making a stride in reclaiming the Kisumu West parliamentary seat it lost in 2013 to Ford Kenya as well as Suna West seat that it lost to an Independent candidate in 2017.

Placed ahead

In Nyamira where it did not win any seat in 2017, the party won Kitutu Masaba seat after its candidate Glive Gisairo was declared winner. Patrick Osero also won the Borabu MP seat for the party. Preliminary results for four other constituencies also placed its candidates ahead in the county. 

The development is a win for a party that also made strides in Western region that has always voted alongside Nyanza in presidential elections.

In the region, Raila’s party made statement wins in Amani National Coalition (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi’s perceived stronghold by bagging 14 parliamentary seats. The Orange party clinched nine parliamentary seats in Kakamega County out of 12 and another five seats in Busia County, a perceived traditional stronghold of the Azimio presidential candidate.

The seats won by the Orange party are Lurambi, Khwisero, Matungu, Lugari, Likuyani, Butere, Mumias West, Ikolomani and Navakholo in Kakamega. In Busia, the party clinched Matayos, Budalang’i, Butula, Funyula and Teso North seats.

Strong showing

In 2017, ODM managed a paltry two MP seats out of 12 in Kakamega namely Shinyalu and Mumias West.

ODM’s performance is largely attributed to the party’s last minute tactical move to poach Jubilee and ANC lawmakers in Western. They are Christopher Aseka (Khwisero), Titus Khamala (Lurambi) and Peter Oscar Nabulindo (Matungu). Others are Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani), Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo) and Ayub Savula of Lugari. ANC that won a majority of seats in Kakamega in 2017 was given a taste of its own medicine after it secured only Shinyalu and Malava parliamentary seats.

Newcomer Fredrick Ikana trounced incumbent Justus Kizito and former MP Silverse Anami to win Shinyalu seat. Ikana bagged 17,543 votes against Anami’s 11,243. Kizito garnered 5,318 votes to finish third. In Malava, incumbent Malulu Injendi delivered the seat to ANC. 

ODM’s Caleb Amisi retained his Saboti seat after garnering 25479 votes. Amisi described his victory as historic. Outgoing Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya welcomed the results. As the ODM deputy party leader and a close ally of Raila, the governor was expected to ensure the Orange party secures many seats in the region. In Luo Nyanza, the party lost four seats out of 29. They are Kisumu East, Ugenya, Kuria West and Kuria East. The party also swept almost all MCA seats. In Kisumu, the party captured 34 out of 35 MCAs seats, an improvement from 2017 where four Independents won.

Although tallying was yet to be completed for Senate, Woman Rep and governor seats as of yesterday, preliminary results indicated that ODM troops had an unassailable lead in the western Kenya region.

In Kisumu, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, senate candidate Tom Ojienda and Woman Rep candidate Ruth Odinga had taken an early lead.

Opened gap

In Nyakach, Nyong’o had garnered 46,079 votes against former Governor Jack Ranguma of MDG who had 9,103. In the same area, Ojienda had bagged 54,233 votes against Jubilee candidate Enos Okolo’s 1,631 votes by the time of going to press yesterday. Raila’s sister Ruth had also opened a gap after garnering 40,031 votes against her closest challenger Rose Kisia, who contested as an Independent.

Yesterday, ODM leaders told The Standard that the six-piece message reached home and was endorsed by candidates. “The message of six piece was more coordinated as much as we were getting resistance,” said Mbadi.

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi who retained his seat said their strategy worked. “Even as we await the final tally, it’s clear ODM has posted an excellent performance,” Wandayi said.

Reports by Harold Odhiambo, John Shilitsa, Anne Atieno, Olivia Odhiambo and Isaiah Gwengi