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Battle looms in Nyanza as hopefuls get IEBC nod

By Evelyn Kwamboka  And Rushdie Oudia

Kisumu County

A major contest is looming in Nyanza as aspirants ‘rigged’ out of the nominations submit certificates from other political parties in readiness for the March General Election.

The aspirants, comprising veteran politicians, sought solace in smaller parties mainly within the CORD alliance, a move that is likely to challenge the dominance of Orange Democratic Movement in the region.

The aspirants aggrieved by ODM’s decision to ‘award’ certificates to their rivals after the party’s election board chairman Franklin Bett’s ordered for fresh nominations that never took place in Homa Bay, Migori and Kisumu,  are set to hit the campaign trail with an intention to ‘prove a point’ during the March 4 elections.

Former MPs Olago-Oluoch (Kisumu West), Ochieng’ Daima (Nyakach), Martin Ogindo (Rangwe), and ODM official John Magaiwa and Grace Akumu, were some of those affected in the nominations.

Flawed nominations

Yesterday, Ford-Kenya, Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) became the main beneficiaries of the flawed nominations.

The repeat was not held in constituencies such as Seme, Kisumu West, Nyakach, Nyando and Muhoroni, and instead ODM gave tickets to people selected by the party.

Most aspirants, who left for Nairobi after ODM failed to hold a repeat of nominations in the three counties, presented their papers to the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission as they prepared to hit the ground with their campaigns.

In Kisumu County, former MP Olago-Oluoch will be contesting the Kisumu West parliamentary on a Ford-Kenya ticket.

“I defected from ODM to Ford-Kenya due to rigged nominations that denied me a certificate despite winning,” said Olago.

The former MP, who is to battle it out with Rozah Buyu, said he did not want to go to court over the issue and that is why he sought the Ford-Kenya ticket.

Ironically, during the 2007 primaries, Buyu accused ODM of rigging her out in favour of Olago after the party gave the lawyer-cum-politician the ticket for the Kisumu West parliamentary seat.

Daima, who moved to Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper party would square off with with Owuor Aduma.  In the nullified nomination preliminary results, Aduma is said to have beaten the former MP with 12,422 votes against 6296.

Other newcomers perceived to be strong on the ground have also started their campaigns.

They include Abdulkadir Omar, who defected from ODM after his rival for the Kisumu Central parliamentary seat, Ken Obura, was declared the winner in the nominations.

Repeat polls

In Homa Bay County, Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang’, who was nominated despite the party’s failure to hold a repeat of the polls, is set to battle it out with Hilary Alila.

Alila, who was kicked out of the race by ODM’s decision to award the ticket to Kajwang’, will be gunning for the seat on a PDP ticket.

“Kajwang’ should prepare for a tough battle and I will give him a run for his money because people know what happened in the nominations,” Alila told The Standard.

On the issue of some candidates from smaller parties stepping down for those perceived to be strong on the ground, Alila said he is in the race to the end. Siaya County, which was another trouble spot during the ODM primaries, is also an area to watch in the coming General Election.

Yesterday, Mr William Oduol, who was disqualified alongside Dr Oburu Odinga, also presented his papers to the IEBC. He will be seeking the Siaya County governor seat on a National Agenda Party of Kenya.

“Despite all the hurdles erected along my political path by ODM, the electorates have confidence in me,” he said.

Oduol defected to NAPK after ODM gave direct nomination to Cornel Rasanga following a dispute between him and the PM’s elder brother Oburu Oginga.

Nyanza region has also not been left out in the legal battles that arose from the nominations.

 Rarieda former MP Nicholas Gumbo, who had been awarded the ticket by ODM, was temporarily stopped by a court order from presenting his papers to IEBC.

Court order

Mr Okong’o Omogeni also obtained interim orders stopping IEBC from clearing veteran politician Abuya Abuya on an ODM ticket for the Nyamira County Senate.

Court orders were also issued against candidates nominated by ODM in Nyatike and Kuria East.

The contest for the Kisumu Senate, in which Jubilee Alliance has fielded a candidate to battle it out with ODM’s Anyang’ Nyong’o and Gerge Weda

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