News Analysis By leo Odera Omolo

NEWS EMERGING OUT OF Migori County indicating an area where political temperature has risen sharply following the recent Court of Appeal decision that saw the former governor Zachary Okoth Obado‘s election victory nullified and fresh polls ordered.

Governor Obado has, however, moved to and lodged an appeal with the supreme Court of Kenya challenging the appeal court’s Decision.

Indications are that the outcome of the Supreme Court judgment is likely to create dilemma for the ODM, which is arguably the dominant political party in the region. Going by the weekend utterances attributed to Migori Senator Wilfred Machage, sharp division and fallout between the two main communities sharing Migori County namely the Luos the majority and the Kurias the minority there in the impending tug-of-war as to who should be the running mate of an ODM candidate should the court throw out the case filed before it by Obado and order for fresh polls.

According to Senator Machage’s statement the 70,000 Kuria voters will settle on nothing less than one of their own being the running mate of an ODM candidate.

During the March 4, 2013 election ,Governor Obado had picked up a Mr Nyamhanga as his running mate on the PDP ticket. At the same time PROF. Edward Akongo’ Oyugi had picked Mrs Anne Omondho Anyanga from Nyatike as his running mate. The two had jointly petitioned the court against Obado’s election.

He has received unanimous support, and even all the The popular opinion in Migori is that Prof. Oyugi should be given direct ODM party nomination and should not be subjected to the primaries.

This suggestion that Prof Oyugi be exempted from primary has received unanimous support of the electorate. This suggestion has also backed by all the ODM MPs representing various constituencies within Migor county with the exception of one namely the rebellious Rongo MP Dalmas Otieno ,who has since declared that he had ditched the party and is currently in the process of forming another political party in the region to rival the ODM

Sources at the ORANGE House the Nairobi based headquarters of the ODM have confided to us that the decision to issue Prof. Oyugi with the direct party nomination is high on the card.

All the indications are clear that the PDP, the party on whose ticket Obado and Nyamuhanga had contested the governor’s election as running-mates and won has since then abandoned the CORD coalition and now an affiliate of the jubilee. PDP which is headed by the former South Mugirango MP Omingo Magara was previously allied to the CORD coalition. And in the event of the fresh elections being called by the IEBC, the duo will have to look for another party’s ticket to contest the election.

The weekend remarks made by Senator Machage has earned him scathing criticism from the electorate and ODm leaders in Migori who have told the Senator to immediately desist from making parochial statements, which only made ODM leaders in the region and supporters to question his loyalty to the party.

Sen.Machage was given direct nomination in 2013 at the insistence of the ODm leader Raia Odinga, by all the standards had sacrificed the former Migiori ODM county branch chairman J.Magaiwa who was prevailed upon to stand down for Machageion the undersadig that this would persuade all the kuria voters to cast their votes for Raila Odinga in his presidential bid. The plan did not work and Magaiwawh had withdrawn his candidature for the Senate seat in anger moved to the URP, though he did not contest the election he used his political clout and influence to drum the Kuria support for the jubilee coalition of TNA/URP collation. Magaiwa’s efforts yielded the fruits that saw all the two parliamentary seats in Kuria East and Kuria West won by the URP/TA coalition. Raila Odinga the votes sharing arrangement and plan which had been brokered by Dalmas Otieno flopped and Raila Odinga garnered the least number of the presidential votes in the region where President Uhuru Kenyatta harvested the highest number of the 70,000 or so votes within the Kuria community.

Odm leaders this week warned Sen. Machage that stern disciplinary action might be considered by the party against him for tying to coerce ODM to nominate a non-member as its running mate ON ITS ticket.

“If Sen. Machage had any other party has something mind that would guarantee him a Kuria tribal running-mate for the governorship then he is free and within his democratic rights to quit ODM altogether with the Kuria voters and join that party, but he should not try to rock the boat from within.. There are well over 280,000 registered voters in Migori county and the 70,000 votes in Kuria region are like just a peanut and a small fraction in this cosmopolitan Senatorial electoral constituency and as such the ODM can still easily emerged the victorious with or with9ut Kuria votes ,said an ODM MP who requested for his anonymity.

MPs who are reportedly backing the direct nomination of Prof. Oyugi included the outspoken Mohamed Juneet [Suna East}, Eng Kobado {Uriri}. Joseph Ndiege [Suna West], Edick Omondi Anyanga {Nyatike and Jared Koopiyo [Awendo}

In the March 4, 2013 election aspirants who vied for the senate on ODM ticket, but were prevailed upon to withdrew their candidature in favor Machage included J.Magaiwa, Ochieng’ Mbeo and Oluoch Kanindo. The trio reluctantly withdrew their bid after having deposited the colossal amount of money with the ODM head office.


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