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Candidates warm up to Siaya Gubernatorial primaries

NYANZA
By Standard Reporter | April 18th 2017

Former PS Eng Carey Orege addressing residents of Bondo town as he launched his campaign bid. PHOTO/ISAIAH GWENGI

SIAYA, KENYA: ODM heavyweights will on Monday 24 lock horns in Siaya County gubernatorial primaries.

The County is the backyard of ODM leader Raila Odinga and three candidates will square it out with current governor Amoth Rasanga

The candidates include Rarieda Mp Eng Nicholas Gumbo, former permanent Secretary Eng. Carey Orege and businessman Mr. William Oduol.

The contestants command support from the regions they hail from. The incumbent Governor Rasanga and Oduol both come from the vote rich Alego Usonga constituency while Eng. Orege hails from Bondo constituency and Eng. Gumbo from Rarieda constituency.

Analysts argue that clannism is a big factor and whoever manages to marshal the support of other bigger clans like Alego, Uyoma and Sakwa among others will carry the day.

Each clan is said to be keen to vote its line-up as it seeks to control the Sh4.5 billion annual allocation for the county as Gem, Ugenya and Ugunja to offer swing votes.

Having lost to Rasanga in 2013 general elections and later on lost in the by election after a successful petition, Mr. Oduol began as a strong contestant. Opinion polls by Intellectus consultancy shows that he has not been able to command a lot of support in his own backyard, which is seen to predominantly rally behind the incumbent.

The polls also show that he does not enjoy massive support in any of the six constituencies. According to the survey Rasanga leads at 33.1 percent, Orege closely at 31.7 percent, Gumbo at 22.4 percent while Oduol at 9.1 percent. Undecided at 4.78 percent.

While the race may have been seen to be a two-horse race between Eng. Gumbo and Rasanga, Eng. Carey Orege has considerably gained ground over the past few months after struggling at the beginning. He is said to enjoy support from his home region, Bondo, and has also gained considerable support from the neighboring Gem and Rarieda constituencies.

Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga(left) and his deputy Wilson Ouma Onyango during their swearing in ceremony at Siaya county stadium in 2013.PHOTO/ISAIAH GWENGI.

He also gives an image of a much organised campaign with top quality campaign merchandise that attract many. He has recently been receiving defectors from his opponent’s teams who cite different reasons for their defection.

Eng. Nicholas Gumbo has been seen as a major contestant in the race. His loyalty to the party and to the party leader has though been under question in the past with some statements he made in the past coming to haunt him.

The incumbent, Mr Amoth Rasanga, is facing an uphill task in his reelection bid. His major undoing is the corruption scandals and audit queries raised by the EACC against his government including Shs. 12million budget for tea and paying air tickets for his family and Member of Parliament in the county using county funds.

It is also the general feeling among the locals that he has failed to do any meaningful development projects in the county. However, he has been able to raise die hard supporters in all the six constituencies and has also gotten the support of many MCAs.

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