Raila allies given direct tickets amid technical glitches

Election officials asses voting materials at Homa Bay High School on April 14, 2022. [James Omoro, Standard]

Six out of nine MPs in Homa Bay County were handed direct ODM tickets as the party held nominations in the county yesterday.

The primaries, that were to be held in 235 polling centres, were marred by technical hitches.

The biometric tablets used for voting failed to accept passwords at a number of polling stations, forcing presiding officers and polling clerks to wait for a long time to resolve to the problem.

Those who received direct ODM nomination include Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town), Eve Obara (Kabondo Kasipul), Ong’ondo Were (Kasipul), Lilian Gogo (Rangwe) and Millie Odhiambo (Suba North).

Former prime minister Raila Odinga’s aide, Caroli Omondi, was also given a direct ticket to vie for Suba South despite protests from his opponents over his membership and loyalty to the Orange party.

Suba South MP John Mbadi bowed out the governorship race following Raila’s plea and vowed not to vie for any other seat in the August poll.

The party had earlier given a direct ticket to governor aspirant Gladys Wanga and Senator Moses Kajwang’. This left only the woman rep seat, Karachuonyo and Ndhiwa constituencies and the MCAs slots up for grabs.

Aspirants eyeing the woman rep seat include former energy executive Beatrice Ogola, former Kisumu roads executive Joyce Osogo and former Homa Bay public service board member Florence Ouma.

Others are Sheryl Ayieko, Tabitha Nyandiek, businessperson Lavender Ojala and Moline Ngala.

In Karachuonyo constituency, incumbent MP Adipo Okuome will be battling it out with at least eight aspirants for the ODM party tickets.

The eight include former Homa Bay County Service Board member Elijah Kodoh, Sam Ogutu, Leonard Ong’onge, human rights advocate Boaz Waruku, former principal Paul Otula and Imara Daima MCA Kennedy Obuya.

Others are nominated Homa Bay County Assembly MCA Nereah Oketch, Sigara Gumba and Sammy Owino.

In Ndhiwa constituency, MP Martin Owino was contesting for ODM flag-bearer position with Michael Agwanda, Tom Obondo, Duncan Osodo, Johnson Oduru and Ongoro Kwach.

Hundreds of locals who turned up for the exercise were faced by biometric device hitches. There was also late dispatch of election materials to polling centres across the county.

Addressing journalists at Homa Bay High School tallying centre, ODM National Elections Board Secretary, Abdulahi Diriye, said they were making efforts to rectify the anomalies.

“Homa Bay is very vast but we have managed to dispatch the materials smoothly to all 40 wards,” said Mr Diriye.