ODM to clear five aspirants in race for Kisumu North ward - Beaking Kenya News

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Thursday, 1 October 2020

ODM to clear five aspirants in race for Kisumu North ward


The race for Kisumu North ward by-election has intensified as ODM clears five aspirants interested in the seat.

The seat fell vacant after MCA Elisha Oraro resigned following his unanimous election as Kisumu county assembly speaker on January 24.

Aspirants on the ODM ticket include Thomas Kotieno, Ramadhan Bilali, Samuel Dede, former MCA Caroline Owen, and former councillor Bernard Muga Obewa.

The party is set to conduct nominations on Saturday. The ward has 16,000 registered voters across 15 polling stations. The IEBC has scheduled the by-election for December 15.

Other aspirants are Ken Ogada of Ford Kenya and businessman John Ouko of ANC.

Aspirants are already campaigning including in church, fundraisers, and any public gatherings.

Kotieno is seen as a top contender with residents saying he was better placed to represent the ward following his development initiatives.

He is the grandson to Luo Council of Elders Chairman Willis Otondi.

Kotieno, who hails from Nyahera sub-location where there are 4,000 registered votes, said he has sponsored more than 30 orphans to school.

He also built houses for widows and less fortunate families in the ward. Kotieno also supports people living with disabilities and has distributed food to families during this Covid-19 pandemic.

He asked voters to elect him to help spur economic development in the ward. “You should elect a young energetic and development-oriented leader as your servant,” Kotieno said. 

Sources at the assembly said Oraro is secretly supporting Obewa while other MCAs back Kotieno for the seat. 

Some party officials are also backing Obewa but residents have warned of backlash should the party impose a candidate on them.

They said the party should conduct free, fair, and transparent nominations. “We should be allowed to nominate and elect a candidate of our choice,” John Otieno said.

Otieno said they want a young and energetic leader for the seat. “We are tired of the old leadership,” Nyahera resident Mary Awino said. 

Ogada, also seen as a front runner, said residents should not elect a party but an individual who has their interests at heart.

“Our people should focus on electing leaders who will deliver on their pledges,” he said.

Ogada said voters should be given space to elect a leader of their choice irrespective of political party affiliation. 

“A party is like a vehicle on which one uses to cross the bridge. The most important thing is competence and service delivery,” he added.

Owen, who was ousted by Oraro in 2017, said she was committed to recapturing the seat.

She said she has what it takes to win the seat. 

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