- The Azimio women group led by Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and Sabina Chege who are close allies of Raila said Nyanza should have a woman governor.
- The party had said they will prioritise consensus and direct nominations as methods of picking the candidate
ODM faces a hard task in identifying the Homa Bay gubernatorial flag bearer after Woman Rep Gladys Wanga launched her campaign bid.
Wanga is competing for the seat against former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga, Suba South MP and ODM national chairman John Mbadi, Awiti’s deputy Hamilton Orata and the former county secretary Isaiah Ogwe.
Others are Kuppet secretary-general Akelo Misori, businessmen Louis Ogingo and Jared Kiasa. Through its leader Raila Odinga, the party had said they will prioritise consensus and direct nominations as methods of picking the candidate.
Homa Bay is one of the bedrocks of the ODM as the majority of residents support the party. In the two previous general elections (2013 and 2017), all eight MPs, woman representative, senator and governor were elected on the party ticket. Securing the party ticket gives the candidate better chances of getting elected.
On Sunday, Wanga who is one of the front runners in the Homa Bay governorship race raised the stakes for getting the ticket. She marshalled women leaders under Azimio la Umoja to drum up support for her candidature. “My election as Homa Bay governor will ensure we improve health, education and agriculture sectors. Homa Bay must play in the league of transformative counties,” Wanga said.
The Azimio women group led by Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and Sabina Chege who are close allies of Raila said Nyanza should have a woman governor after the August 9 poll. Ngilu said they are ready to help Wanga in her campaigns to ensure she wins the seat. She said women understand and can address the problems of residents.
“I know Raila respects and doesn’t discriminate against women of this country. Wanga has clarity of what she wants to do in Homa Bay as governor, hence it should begin by getting the nomination ticket,” Ngilu said.
Other women leaders included Nairobi Governor Anne Kananu, CASs Rachael Shebesh and Beatrice Elachi and Kisumu nominated Senator Rose Nyamuna.
Also MPs Fatuma Gedi (Wajir), Janet Ongera( Kisii), Naisuna Lesuda (Samburu West), Rosa Buyu(Kisumu), Mishi Mboko (Likoni), Jerusha Momanyi (Nyamira), Eve Obara (Kabondo Kasipul), Esther Pasaris (Nairobi), Florence Mutua (Busia), Jackline Oduol (nominated) and Priscilla Nyokabi (Nyeri). ODM national women league Beth Syongo was also present.
They urged their women colleagues and political parties under Azimio La Umoja Movement to stand with female aspirants wanting governorship positions. They further asked the coalition to prioritise inclusivity by ensuring there is at least a woman governor in regions where they enjoy much popularity. “As women league in ODM, we’ll stand with Gladys Wanga in her endeavours to become Homa Bay governor. We appeal to Homa Bay women who are the majority to support her candidature,” Syongo said.
The seat will remain vacant after Governor Cyprian Awiti’s term expires. Homa Bay has at least 513,000 registered voters according to the latest IEBC record. Rachuonyo region where Magwanga hails from has the majority of voters, followed by Homa Bay and Suba regions respectively.
Political observer and resident Patrick Agwagra said the ODM party will not get it easy in picking the governorship torchbearer. Rachuonyo region where Magwanga hails from has the majority of voters, followed by Homa Bay and Suba regions respectively.
Political observer and resident Patrick Agwagra said the ODM party will not get it easy in picking the governorship torchbearer.
He argued that already campaigns have been intensified in the county, a factor which he describes as putting consensus among the aspirant themselves at bay.
“Unless Raila himself calls them to the round table so they can agree and come up with one person. Otherwise, I see none of the front runners bolting out for others,” Agwagra said.
Kidero is a heavyweight in the race as well as Magwaga who still has some support from people who stood with him in the 2017 elections. Orata enjoys the power of incumbency. According to Agwagra, Homa Bay should elect a governor who will unite and utilise resources well besides developing it.
“Homa Bay governorship race is tough and ODM should find appropriate ways of avoiding fallouts during party nominations,” Agwagra said.