With less than 100 days to the August 9, general election, political speculations have been flowing.
One such speculation is that Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o may change his running mate.
The speculation came following the twists in the ODM party primaries in the county.
But Dr Mathews Owili, Nyong’o’s current deputy has smashed the speculations, saying no one can get between him and his boss.
In an exclusive interview with Lake Region Bulletin, Dr Owili said his joint ticket with Nyong’o is a done deal.
How did all the speculations begin?
Kisumu County is made up of five main clans; Kano, Kisumo, Nyakach, Seme, and Kajulu.
Kano which is the largest clan covers Nyando, Muhoroni, and parts of Kisumu East Constituencies, while Nyakach, Kisumo and Seme covers Nyakach, Kisumu West and Seme Constituencies respectively.
Kajulu, which is the smallest clan resides in pats of Kisumu East.
Ranguma will be working with new people while our team has strong people who have been in the gameDr Mathews Owili
The sixth clan is the diaspora voters who cover mostly the cosmopolitan Kisumu Central and parts of Kisumu East.
During elections, politicians have been forming camps with representations from the clans.
During the 2017 general election, Nyong’o from Seme who was deputized by Dr Owili from Nyakach had Senatorial Aspirant Fred Outa from Kano, and Woman Representative candidate Rosa Buyu from Kisumo in his camp.
The camp christened ‘Team Kali’ sailed through.
Ahead of the 2022 ODM party nominations, some aspirants publicly pronounced political lineups.
One such politician was nominated Senator Rose Nyamunga who in several public meetings claimed that the ODM Senatorial ticket belonged to the Kano clan.
She claimed that Governor position would remain with Nyong’o, from Seme.
However, Nyong’o was awarded direct party ticket, while the Senator ticket was won by Tom Ojienda from Nyakach clan.
The Woman Representative ticket was won by Ruth Odinga representing diaspora.
Current County Assembly Speaker Elisha Oraro did not seek for any elective seat, and is hoping that he will retain the seat to represent Kisumo clan.
This has complicated the matrix, with Kano missing out of the top four county positions, as well as the speaker position.
This prompted speculation that Nyong’o may have to scout for a running mate from Kano to balance the equation after they missed out in the top four county positions.
But Owili has come out to defend his position, saying his seat is safe.
His utterances coming just two weeks to the submission of the names of aspirants to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Dr Owili confirmed that his partnership with Nyong’o in the August 9, is a done deal.
“I have submitted all the documents required for my clearance and paid all the necessary fees,” said Dr Owili.
Kano own enemy
Dr Owili noted that Kano clan was to blame for missing out in the top four county positions after fielding two candidates in the Senate position.
Kano had Ms Nyamunga and former Education Assistant Minister Prof Ayiecho Olweny.
There are County Secretary and City Manager, and other county executive member positions which can be balancedDr Mathews Owili
According to Owili, there are still county positions which can be advanced to the clan.
“There are County Secretary and City Manager, and other county executive member positions which can be balanced,” he said.
He said Kano did not lose entirely, as Kisumu Central Constituency seat which has traditionally been a reserve for the diaspora has gone to Kano.
Dr Joshua Oron from Kano clan won the nominations against incumbent MP Fred Ouda.
Why Nyong’o is sticking with me
Dr Owili said he loyally served Nyong’o during their first term in office, and supported his agenda.
This, he said was key in his retaining of the DG position.
“Just a few Deputy Governors give their bosses the kind of support I gave mine, and we will remain together on August 9,” he said.
He said he has also supported the Governor in delivering his manifesto to the people of Kisumu, and he wishes to continue with the work after the August polls.
“I would wish to thank the Governor for his trust me and giving me another chance so that we continue building Kisumu together,” said Dr Owili.
Former Governor Jack Ranguma who comes from Kano has since secured an Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) party ticket and will be challenging Nyong’o.
Ranguma is partnering with 22-year-old Valentine Otieno from Kajulu who is running for a Woman Representative position.
Insiders also say he is seeking a running mate from Kisumo and a Senator candidate from either Seme or Nyakach clans to complete his lineup.
The pioneer Governor has pledged to reclaim his seat which he lost to Nyong’o in 2017.
But Dr Owili dismissed this line up, saying Nyong’o’s faction has a stronger team.
“Ranguma will be working with new people while our team has strong people who have been in the game,” he said.
Dr. Owili is succinct. This man has worked very well with Prof Nyongo’. The duo, in my view, deserve to serve again. KISUMU is safer in their hands.