Most MCAs in Nyanza sent packing as ODM records near clean sweep

Residents queue to cast their votes at Kondele roundabout in Kisumu County on August 9. [Collins Oduor Standard]

Most incumbent MCAs in the Nyanza region's six counties have been sent packing in the August 9 General Election.

Only a handful of the MCAs managed to retain their seats as ODM had a field day in most county assemblies, clinching almost all seats to stamp its authority in the region.

For some MCAs who opted to run as independents, their goose was cooked in April after they lost in the ODM party primaries. In a region where getting an ODM ticket is an added advantage in the quest for seats, all sitting MCAs who lost the coveted ticket but competed as independents were sent packing.

In Migori, Kisii, Kisumu, Siaya and Homa Bay counties, more than half of the MCAs were sent home, with residents saying most of them underperformed and were a shame to the electorate for their frequent squabbles.

In Kisumu, only 10 out of 35 MCAs survived as ODM won 34 seats.

Among those voted out include majority leader Kenneth Onyango, whose fate was sealed when he became one of the surprising faces to lose the ODM ticket.

On the ballot, West Kisumu Ward's Paul Okiri, who was one of the two MCAs who survived a similar purge in 2017, was not lucky this time round. Okiri, who ran as an independent candidate, was trounced by ODM’s Ken Ouko.

A voter at Railways Ward, Boniface Otieno, said a majority of the MCAs have been voted out because of underperformance and passing laws that hurt the residents.

“Most of them were only engaged in praising the Executive even where it went wrong. The issue of title deeds being changed from freehold to leasehold kicked them out,” said Otieno.

In Migori, voters sent 25 out of the 40 MCAs home as residents cracked the whip at an assembly that had made headlines for endless supremacy battles.

The biggest names to be floored are acting speaker George Duro who polled third in his Macalder Kanyarwanda Ward. Felix Okwanyo won the seat with 1,146 votes against Duro’s 880.

Assembly Majority Leader Nestory Owiyo was equally floored by Phillip Ouma, who got 1,238 votes against Owiyo’s 679 to clinch the West Sakwa ward slot.

Minority Whip Kevins Keke, however, decided not to defend his South Kamagambo seat after losing in the ODM primaries to Collins Ochieng, who went ahead to win the seat with 849 votes.

In Nyatike Sub-county, Kanyasa MCA Jacky Paul did not defend her seat after being floored in nominations as Okeyo Paul won the race with 2,349 votes.

Kaler MCA Thomas Akungo, however, retained his seat with an independent ticket, garnering 1,353 votes.

He chose to go the independent way after he was floored in the ODM nominations.

In Kisii, voters rejected 35 MCAs, while only 10 managed to retain their seats.

Out of the 45 MCAs, only one is a woman, while a majority are the youth. Beatrice Kerubo of Bombaba Borabu Ward will be the only woman elected MCA in the assembly.

However, it was a show of might for the outgoing House leadership after the re-election of the majority leader, majority whip, two members of the County Assembly Public Service Board, Finance Committee chair and minority leader.

Majority Leader Timothy Ogugu (Magenche) got his third term as well as Chief Whip John Ombati (Bomorenda).

Bogiakumu MCA Ishmael Mosota, who retained his seat, said the journey was tough.

"It is all about doing the right thing and being close to the electorate. We have a number of projects we are yet complete. Putting up more ECDE classrooms will be a priority in order to support CBC. We also need to put up more health facilities close to the common mwananchi," said Mosota.

Ombati said it is not easy to clinch the MCA seat three terms consecutively.

In Nyamira, voters sent home more than half of the MCAs, with only a handful making their way back.

Among the losers include Deputy Speaker Robinson Mocheche who lost his Bonyamatuta seat, which he has served for two terms.

Also trounced was Minority Leader Denis Kebaso who was vying on a Jubilee Party ticket. He lost to Jackson Mogusu of UPA.

[Report by Anne Atieno, Harold Odhiambo, James Omoro and Stanley Ongwae]