Kenya's Most Authoritative Political Newspaper

Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Daggers drawn in Busia as Guv’s seat attracts three

Busia governor Sospeter Ojaamong is a man under siege. With the 2017 elections still more than two years away, already politicians have started behind-the-scenes campaigns to oust him in the forthcoming elections.
Three potential candidates have joined the list of those interested in becoming the Busia governor in 2017. Funyula MP Paul Otuoma has publicly declared that he will be in the gubernatorial race against Ojaamong.
Sources well vast with the county politics say the seats have to be shared on rotational basis and it is time the Luhya produce governor 2017 while the Teso get senator’s seat currently held by Amos Wako a Luhya. The governor is a Teso.
Otuoma accused Ojaamong of marginalising some parts of the county in development projects but in a quick rejoinder, Ojaamong has denied ever marginalising any part of Busia but has welcomed Otuoma to the contest and warned him to be ready and prepared for a political battle of his lifetime.
It is said that Ojaamong and Otuoma do not see eye to eye with Otuoma accusing Ojaamong of belittling elected leaders. But in a swift rejoinder, Ojaamong denied belittling elected leaders from the region. It is claimed that whenever Ojaamong is invited for harambee, he only contributes Sh50,000 yet all other guests contribute over Sh70,000.
Otuoma’s entry into the race has sparked mixed reactions between the Luhya and the Teso leaders with others supporting while others oppose it. A Busia nominated MCA Margaret Chale, however, welcomed the move saying the competition is healthy and dismissed those saying that Otuoma’s entry will divide the Luhya.
Other candidates who have joined the race are Dan Barasa, Vincent Sidai and Philemon Imo. Sidai has also denied claims that he has been offered a job by Ojaamong so that he can withdraw from the race. A senior manager with Agricultural Finance Corporation is said to be under pressure to run for the governorship slot.
Busia county speaker Bernard Wamalwa has however welcomed the competition. He is said to be silently backing Otuoma. Ojaamong has been governor for only two years but is accused of practising tribalism by favouring his Teso region in development and employment in county jobs.
At one time, Ojaamong ran into trouble with the Senate’s public accounts and investments committee who summoned him to respond to queries raised by the Auditor-General about Sh29 million spent by the county. He was also taken to task to account for Sh19.5 million meant for the refurbishment of the governor’s office.
Ojaamong announcement that he will run for the presidency in 2022 has been dismissed in certain quarters.