83-year-old Sam Ongeri gets 3,700 votes in Kisii governor race

Kisii County DAP-K governor candidate Sam Ongeri votes. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Outgoing Kisii Senator Prof Sam Ongeri who was seeking to be the county’s next boss only managed 3,782 votes, a gap of 267,146 votes between him and the winner, Simba Arati.

The Kisii governorship race attracted five candidates, with Simba Arati of the ODM party in the lead, polling 270, 928 votes.

His closest rival Ezekiel Machogu of UDA got 82,104votes, while KNC’s Manson Nyamweya came third with 32, 537 votes.

Chris Obure was fourth in the race, garnering 9,735 votes while Ongeri trailed the pack coming in last at only 3,782 votes.

Ongeri, 83, expressed interest in the governorship seat in January this year, crediting his vast experience as a civil servant, Member of Parliament, and Cabinet Minister.

The seasoned politician, vying for governor on a DAP-K ticket, would suffer a blow in early August when his running mate Josiah Maaga abandoned him, to support UDA candidate Ezekiel Machogu.

Maaga claimed that Ongeri was lacking in political vigour and not delivering the results people expected.

"We were losing and that is why I accept this decision to withdraw me from him so that we support Machogu,” Maaga said.

The former Cabinet Minister’s age has often been a point of criticism, with many calling for his resignation from active politics.

But Ongeri in January told The Standard he was in the race for governor solely for the love of his county and concern for its destiny and the fate of its people.

He at one time, while responding to his political nemesis Simeon Nyachae on the age debate said: “My age is not an issue. What I bring to the people is what matters.”