Kenya: Tuju’s declaration for presidential bid has a mixed reception in Luo-Nyanza


News Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo

Although the announcement by the former Foreign Affairs Minister Raphael Tuju that he has joined the race for presidential bid in the impending general election scheduled for next year has generated a lot of controversy inside Luo-Nyanza it did not come as s surprise.

Tuju only pre-emptied a master secretive plan which has been in the drawing board being hatched by politicians and MPs from the greater Southern Nyanza region who have been heard in various circles as saying that time was ripe for the Luos to create a new political nerves of power instead of continuing following the Odinga blindly with no end result.

The Prime Minister stands accused of favoring his blood relatives in all the government appointments which had fall on his hand during the whole duration of the coalition government, and worse of all is his pulling out of his own sister Dr Wenwa Akinyi out of a plum university job as professor so that she could serve as Kenya’s charge as a consulate in California, US.the appointment of two Permanent Secretaries from Siaya County in totally ignoring the Southern Nyanza region were given as some of the degrading example of based leadership.

Tuju’s announcement came in the wake of the behind the scene close door meeting among politicians in the larger Southern Nyanza region, where Raila Odinga usual harvesting votes on man-to-man and 100.per cent. But it came to the point of senior government appointment in the Prime minister’s mind Southern Nyanza does not exist.

The Luos, mostly the supporters of the ODM have vilified the former Rarieda MP as fronting for some invisible forces with intent to derail the presidential bid of Raila Odinga.

Level minded Luos, however, disagreed with the contention that his candidature is meant to weaken the Prime Minister’s political clout in Luoland. Other were heard saying that Tuju’s action is the most appropriate and timely move.

“We have heard a lot of the empty rhetoric’s by Raila sycophants that whoever has diverse opinion is branded as an agent of Mt. Kenya or traitor. We have been hearing this kind of this kind of insinuation for close to four decades. If Raila feels it is only those related to the Odinga are the one who are fit to hold senior government positions at the expense of the entire community, then he should seek the votes from his relatives and leave us in peace to vote for whoever we think deserves our vote. We have welcomed Tuju’s candidature.

One MP who did not want his name to appear in any publication retorted, “ We have heard that Raila is fronting for his junior sister Ruth Adhiambo Odinga to be the MP for Kisumu Town Central and his son Fidel Raila is to contest a parliamentary seat in either Muhoroni or in one of the constituencies in Nairobi City. If there is any iota of truth about ht plans then “Agwambo” lost the political direction and needs counseling,” he added.

Tuju joins the race with a colorful background of massive achievement of development, which ha remained unequalled in Luo-Nyanza. Within only five years period of time which he represented Raried constituency and served in the cabinet, he had succeeded in establishing a massive water supply project worth billion of shillings with the help of Kenya’s development partners. He has also succeeded in promoting he hitherto obscure Madiany health Centre in Central Uyoma location to be an ultra modern rural hospital with mobile theatre and mobile maternity wing. Several primary and secondary schools in Rarieda were elevated to ultra modern institutions of higher learning.

Tuju is a level minded politician who does not believes in sycophancy and political patronage. He lost his Rarieda parliamentary seat in 2007 after a heated exchange with Raila Odinga over the latter’s dictatorial tendencies and the much thawed ODM nomination system which is shrouded with claims and allegations of bribery.

But the ODM favorite candidate who contested and won the Rarieda parliamentary seat has failed to measure up or fit into Tuju’s shoes in terms of progress. A development activity within the constituency has become stagnant with claims of the misuse of CDF and other government devolving funds.

Tuju lost his set in 2007 at the time when he had drastically changed the face of Rarieda constituencies to a role model of other constituencies in the region. His latest move to contest the presidency will definitely cause a lot of problem to the ODM general and Raila Odinga in particular because Tuju had a large number of silent admirers across the region and sympathizers in his Bondo home turf.

Tuju supporter across this region have called for creation of the level playing ground and that every aspirant contesting any elective set be it presidency, Senate, parliament and even County representatives be given equal opportunity to sell their policy without any hindrance.

Tuju is credited for having initiated the construction of the Ndori-Luanda Kotieno that is linking mainland Rarieda and Mbita across the Nyanza Gulf for the two twin island of Mfangano and Rusinga Island. The road has since cut into short traveling between Kisumu and Mbita.


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