Brian Achieng wins South Gem by-election, trouncing ODM's Wanga

Independent candidate Brian Achieng is handed a certificate by IEBC officials following his win in the South Gem ward by-election. [Isaiah Gwengi, Standard]

Independent candidate Brian Achieng is the winner of the hotly contested South Gem ward by-election held on Thursday.

Achieng' garnered 3,569 votes against his closest competitor Polycarp Wanga of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party, who got 3,453 votes, beating seven other candidates.

The election was, however, marred with chaos in some polling stations where supporters of the candidates decried voter bribery and violence.

As a result, at least eight people were injured and three vehicles damaged after chaos broke out in Aluor and Kambare polling stations.

Police said the chaos temporarily disrupted the election exercise.

IEBC suspended the election for the MCA seat following the death of ODM candidate Nick Wanga in July this year.

Before the August 9, 2022 elections, the seat was held by David Audi, who won in 2017 after beating ODM's candidate Peter Lolwe with 9,329 votes against 2,988.

According to the IEBC data, South Gem has 18,560 registered voters.

The candidates traversed the ward in a bid to sell their agendas to the electorates.

Last week, the ODM brigade led by Siaya Governor James Orengo camped in the ward drumming up support for the ODM candidate.

Achieng's election now brings to four the number of MCAs elected on a non-ODM party, which dominates the county.

The MCAs for West Yimbo, North Gem, and East Asembo wards were elected on independent, Federal Party of Kenya (FPK) and United Democratic Movement (UDM) party tickets respectively.

Siaya County has 30 wards.