Raila now appeals for six-piece voting in Nyanza backyard

ODM Leader Raila Odinga views the body of the later Ambassador of Kenya to Qatar Patrick Cornel Ahenda alias Paddy Ahenda at Nyasore Village in Homa Bay County on April 18, 2022. [James Omoro, Standard]

ODM leader Mr Raila Odinga has rooted for “six piece” voting in his Nyanza backyard to enable him form a stable government if elected President.

The Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition presidential aspirant’s statement is expected to rub fringe party aspirants in the region the wrong way.

Nyanza is an ODM stronghold, but several smaller parties had hoped to benefit from the coming together of the coalition affiliates backing Mr Odinga’s presidential bid.

A number of aspirants who sensed defeat in ODM primaries rushed to fringe parties or opted to vie as independent. For the first time since he began his presidential campaigns, Mr Odinga has vouched for the six piece voting to boost the party numerical strength in Parliament, county assemblies and Council of Governors.

It requires voters to elect ODM candidates in MCA, MP, woman rep, senator, governor and president. Mr Odinga, while at Nyasore in Homa Bay County during the burial of Kenyan ambassador to Qatar Patrick Paddy Cornel Ahenda, said the six-piece mode of voting would ensure he forms a stable government.

ODM and Jubilee Party are the key parties in the more than 20-member Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition. The other political parties in the coalition are also fielding candidates for various elective seats. “We are in the climax in our quest for the presidency of this country. But we need to form a strong government. Therefore, what I want our people to put in mind when they are voting is six-piece,” said Mr Odinga.

Explaining the six-piece, Mr Odinga’s brother Dr Oburu Oginga, who is also eyeing the Siaya Senator seat, said: “Azimio is like a polygamous family where every mother must account for her children. During the day, all children play in the compound but every child has to return to his mother’s house when dusk comes.”

Homa Bay Woman Rep Mrs Gladys Wanga said the six-piece voting would enhance ODM’s strength even after the General Election. “Our party must always be strong in this country and the only way to do this is six-piece voting,” Mrs Wanga, who got a direct ODM ticket to vie for Homa Bay governor’s seat, said.

Mr Odinga told the Luo community and Nyanza residents to unite and form a formidable force to propel his journey to State House. The ODM leader said Nyanza residents would achieve little if divided.

He castigated those dividing the Luo community on basis of South Nyanza (Homa Bay and Migori counties) and Central Nyanza (Siaya and Kisumu), and urged it to always stand as one family for its voice to be heard. “We are like one family. Clans which live in Homa Bay County have their members in Siaya and vice versa,” Mr Odinga said.

Governors Mr Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), Mr Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Mr James Ongwae (Kisii), MPs Mr Moses Kajwang’ (Homa Bay), Dr Lilian Gogo (Rangwe), Mr Ong’ondo Were (Kasipul), Ms Eve Obara (Kabondo Kasipul), Mr Martin Owino (Ndhiwa) and Mr Babu Owino (Embakasi East). Mr Ongwae challenged Nyanza leaders: “We need to be serious by mobilising voters to vote for Raila to enable us succeed in the presidential bid.”

Mr Oparanya said: “Western region is locked under Raila’s presidential bid.”

Mr Awiti warned against dividing the Luo community. “We don’t want people who are distracting our attention from Raila’s presidential bid,” he said.