Rebellion in Raila’s Nyanza Turf

Going with the IEBC results and the former Prime Ministers performance, Raila is facing a revolt within his home turf of Luo Nyanza and his ODM party. This is a rebellion against his perceived weak leadership and existential crisis of vision and tactics rather than a rejection of his political structures (ODM or Cord). A general criticism against the Odinga dynasty is that in the nearly six decades that the Odinga family has dominated
Luo Nyanza politics, the region has lagged behind in most aspects. Nyanza rebels are calling on the Odingas to relinquish power because they have suffered a string of humiliating electoral defeats in multi-party Kenya. The senior Odinga came fourth in 1992 (behind Moi, Kenneth Matiba and Mwai Kibaki); and his youthful political heir, Raila, lost the 1997, 2007 and 2013 presidential elections. As a result, the Odinga’s style of politics has consigned the region to the opposition and the Mecca of protest politics. On the other extreme are Nyanza’s ‘developmentalists’ such as Nairobi Governor, Evans Kidero, former Rarienda MP and Foreign Minister, Raphael Tuju, Dalmas Otieno (MP Rongo) and Odoyo Owidi (2013 parliamentary candidate) who are calling for an inclusive regional dialogue on development in Luo Nyanza. The Kasarani fasco on February 14 where ODM party elections were violently disrupted by hired goons infamously known as “Men in Black’’ has continued to haunt Mr Odinga and ODM, despite the fact that the party later picked new ofcials last year. Another development is that ODM renegades are questioning the ‘rigging’ claims that the Odingas have repeatedly used to maintain their grip on Nyanza politics. After every loss, the Odinga family’s candidates have alleged that they are victims of election rigging, a strategy that rallied an angry Luo community behind them but hardened relations with successive governments.
Nyanza rebels are now questioning the Odingas’ rigging gambit. They point out that rather than forging winning political
alliances, the Odingas have been guilelessly punching way above their community’s numerical weight. Political aspirants running on the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party in Nyanza regions faced stiff competition from Independent candidates. This was as a result of the party issuing direct tickets to some candidates
ODM party issued direct nomination certifcates to 850 aspirants, which resulted in acrimony among the contenders. ODM also held a shambolic nominations process that made the aggrieved aspirants to vie as independent candidates. Kisumu
gubernatorial candidate Anyang Nyongo won the seat with 263, 520 votes, but he faced stiff competition from independent candidate Jack Raguma who garnered 149,986 votes. In Siaya County, Independent candidate Nicholas Gumbo got 173, 539 votes while ODM’s candidate Cornel Rasanga won the governor’s seat with 187,410 votes.The suffered a major blow after losing gubernatorial races in Nairobi, Kajiado and Kwale counties to Jubilee party. Nairobi’s Governor Evans Kidero got 668,268 votes and was trounced by Jubilee’s Mike Sonko who got 833,192 votes.

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