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Citizen Weekly

Saturday, 9 August 2014

BY-ELECTION: GUV AWITI DELIVERS CIVIC SEAT TO ODM



Homa-Bay County Governor Cyprian Awiti finally delivered the Kibiri Ward by-election amidst fear that a number of ODM MPs from the county were secretly supporting rival candidates. According to sources, Awiti led the campaigns from the front and bankrolled the ODM’s campaigns. 


According to the results announced by IEBC, Opiyo Ondiek of ODM was declared the winner after garnering 2,936 votes and was followed by Michael Onyango of WDM (2,023), Appolo Adede (167), Joel Omollo (65) and Omondi Odiembo (59). 

It is imperative to note that Ondiek is the brother to the immediate County Rep Boaz Ondiek who was brutally murdered by unknown assailants. Awiti has since employed the late Ondiek's wife at the Homa Bay County to help her take care of her family. The move has been well-received across the county.
The by-election produced political fireworks as some local politicians had schemed to embarrass ODM by supporting the WDM party candidate but Awiti led well coordinated campaigns to ensure ODM carried the day. 

Awiti’s political strategy has left many of his perceived enemies politically irrelevant. Immediately after assuming office, he has consolidated his political base by bringing on board even those who were opposed to his candidature during the last general elections.
Of late, there have been calls from some quarters that he has done much to Homa bay people and that he should retire after serving for one term but such calls have been termed as immature and signs of panic from politicians eyeing the gubernatorial seat in 2017. 

Even as some few disgruntled politicians call for his retirement, Homa-Bay residents are said to be solidly backing him owing to his unrivaled development record. They have also dismissed Karachuonyo MP James Rege’s last week’s announcement that he will be vying for the Governor’s seat in 2017. 

Rege who is serving his second term and probably the last term is likely to make stiff opposition from the electorate mainly because of the manner in which he has handled CDF related issues. Reges’ main undoing is the manner in which his cronies are running the fund. There have been claims that the people running the Karachuopnyo CDF are notorious in kick back taking before they approve funding or awarding contracts. 

There have been whispers across the county that should Awiti opt not to defend his seat in 2017 then  eyes will be on Sammy Wakiaga who sources also say has gone abroad for further studies.

Despite the above scenario, Awiti still stands a better chance in 2017 based on the manner in which he has delivered on his election pledges he gave to the electorate during 2013 campaigns. Those opposed to him have also been telling their supporters that they can only vie if Awiti is not in the race because contesting against him in 2017 will be a waste of time and resources.