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Raila Odinga waiting for heir, Oburu Odinga grooming son Jaoko

 Rosemary Odinga and Jaoko Oburu

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

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