As political grooming is taking place in Nairobi, a different, albeit similar ball game is shaping up in Siaya where Governor Cornell Rasanga has nominated the son of Dr Oburu Odinga into his County Executive Committee.
Dr Oburu, the elder brother of Raila Odinga, supported Rasanga against his cousin, Jakoyo Midiwo who had decamped from ODM and was backing Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo to un-seat Rasanga in his bid for a second term.
Oburu, then a nominated MP, lost the race for Bondo seat which he lost to Gideon Ochanda whom Midiwo was supporting during the 2017 elections.
“Jakoyo is like my son. He grew up in my house,” said Oburu while suggesting that he would not engage in a public spat after proving that blood is not always thicker than water.
The rivalry first surfaced in the 2013 General Election after Midiwo publicly campaigned for William Oduol against Dr Oburu in the governorship race. As payback, Rasanga has nominat-ed his son, Jaoko Oburu into the Tourism docket.
Political pundits are seeing this move as aimed at propelling an Odinga in Western Kenya politics in the face of the fact that Raila has none of his children gun-ning for political office. When Fidel, perceived as Raila’s heir died in 2015, Oburu said: “If it was a natural death, so be it... (but if it was) as a result of a human hand, that person really calculated and hit us be-low the belt.”
Former Vice-President Kalonzo Musy-oka, in his eulogy, also captured well the position Fidel occupied. “He was a serious confidant of his own father, a promising young man who was very dependable.”
Tom Alila, another political hopeful, said at the time that “Fidel was to contest the Kibra parliamentary seat (in 2017).
We were thus going to form a formidable team of aspirants, but unfortunately this will never be.”
Rosemary Odinga is indisposed and dropped her political ambitions for the Lang’ata seat before the 2017 nominations in April.
The political aspirations of his other children, Raila Jr and Winnie are still hazy for now as the Raila succession realigns itself to the realities of his exit from active politics.
It is in this context that the nomination of Jaoko Oburu is perceived by political observers and it has caused an uproar with members of the civil society and leaders who termed the move as unfair.
Jaoko, who has no tourism background, is the former investments advisor to the governor.
“The education and professional background must march the position one has been awarded. Tourism needs a competent person this is because delivery of services should be well exploited,” argued Aggrey Omondi, director of the Ugunja Resource Centre