Ex-Kisii leaders James Ongwae, Janet Ongera resign from ODM Party

Former Kisii Governor James Ongwae and former Kisii Woman Representative Janet Ongera. [File, Standard]

Former Governor of Kisii James Ongwae and the county's ex-Woman Representative Janet Ongera have resigned from ODM Party.

The duo announced their resignation from the Raila Odinga-led Party on Thursday, November 3.

In a joint statement, the two said: "It has been an honour serving in ODM. We regret nothing, but we move to the next phase with a clear mind on how better as a country we can manage our political affairs before and after elections.

"We have arrived at this decision having carefully taken stock of the activities preceding the last general election and more so the ill manner in which the party treated us and our supporters through political patronage by individuals who never had the interests of our community at heart," said Ongwae and Ongera.

Ongwae and Ongera, who addressed journalists in Kisii, say they'll reveal their next political move soon.

"As the Holy Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1, there is a time and season for everything and for us it's time to exit. We will soon issue a statement on our next political journey and the way forward," they said.

Ongwae served his two terms as Governor of Kisii County on ODM ticket, while Ongera served as Kisii Woman Representative between 2017 and 2022 on ODM ticket.

Prior to running for Woman Representative, Ongera, a lawyer by profession, served as a Nominated Senator between 2013 and 2017 on ODM ticket.

Ongera sought to defend her Kisii Woman Representative seat on ODM ticket in the August 9, 2022 General Election, but lost to Wiper Party candidate Doris Donya Aburi.

Aburi is a former radio presenter at Egesa FM, a Kisii vernacular station owned by Royal Media Services Limited.

Aburi got 190,277 votes against Ongera's 69,995 votes.

Former governor Ongwae, on the other hand, had been a member of ODM for close more than 15 years.

It remains unclear where the ex-county chief is headed, though there are indications that he could join President William Ruto's camp after he and Ongera paid the Head of State a visit at his Karen home on September 9 this year.

According to Ongera, working with Ruto "will benefit the people of Gusii region".

"A new government has been formed, and it is prudent that we find a proper direction to benefit our people. I am ready to offer direction to our people," Ongera told The Standard.