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Orengo, Oburu battle heats up

By - | October 28th 2012
Finance assistant minister Oburu Odinga (left) and Lands Minister James Orengo both vying for Siaya senatorial post. (Photo:File/Standard)

By Evelyn Kwamboka

Lands Minister James Orengo held a peaceful rally at his political rival’s home turf in Bondo constituency, Siaya County .

Orengo maintained his stand that he will not step aside for Finance assistant minister Oburu Odinga in the race that has created division among MPs from the county.

“My people have maintained that I soldier on in this race. Those who think politics is not a serious task should ask those who have spent in police cells agitating for the rights of people,” he said.

He said it is the ODM delegates to decide in the nomination exercise on who will be their flag bearer in the race.

The supremacy on who to win the senator seat has seen MPs in the area form camps in a bid to support candidates of their choice.

Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo, Edwin Yinda of Alego Usonga and their Rangwe counterpart Martin Ogindo have since declared publicly their support for Orengo, saying it is the delegates to decide in the coming nomination.

Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo is in Oburu’s camp on grounds that he is best candidate because of his development record and being senior to Orengo.

At the Friday rally that attracted hundreds of people, Orengo told Oburu that he (Orengo) is the senior most politician in Luo land given the fact that he has been in parliament longer than all of them.

“By calling for this rally, I just wanted to show people how powerful I am in Bondo,” he said.

The decision to vie for the seat by the two is seen as a big challenge to the PM, who is facing a similar scenario in most areas where ODM has a bigger following.

“My vying for the same position with Oburu will not create a rift. I will continue supporting the party even if I lose in the nomination,” he said.

Orengo said they were meeting ODM representatives in counties to ensure there is harmony in the nomination process.

He said the strategy is aimed at ensuring the presidential election is not derailed by those who may lose in the nomination.

Midiwo said it is time for the Finance assistant minister to step aside if his bid for senator seat is to divide Siaya MPs and leaders.

“If he refuses, voters will decide. We had agreed to sit down as Siaya MPs with an aim to settle the matter but it did not work,” he said.

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