- An in-depth analysis of Siaya politics indicates that out of 6 MPs, only Rarieda MP Otiende Amolo and Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi are solidly behind their party leader. Mr Wandayi is a long-time Raila loyalist who stepped down for James Orengo during the Siaya gubernatorial campaigns and was rewarded with the position of minority leader in Parliament. During the campaigns, he was given a direct ODM party ticket locking out his opponents who had campaigned against him during the party’s primaries.
- Mr Otiende Amolo is also a close Raila ally, he was also given a direct ticket to run for the seat, narrowly winning the seat by a small margin, he garnered 37,676 votes against one Neto Adhola who got 23,266 votes. That small margin in Raila Odinga’s backyard spoke volumes
By The Weekly Vision
If the rate at which ODM MPs especially those from Raila Odinga’s backyard of Siaya County are abandoning their party leader at crucial moments is anything to go by, then the party which once commanded unrivalled support in the region could be on its deathbed. His closest allies are now plotting on how to crack the whip against rebel MPs perceived to be disrespectful to the party leader.
An in-depth analysis of Siaya politics indicates that out of 6 MPs, only Rarieda MP Otiende Amolo and Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi are solidly behind him. Mr Wandayi is a long-time Raila loyalist who stepped down for James Orengo during the Siaya gubernatorial campaigns and was rewarded with the position of minority leader in Parliament. During the campaigns, he was given a direct ODM party ticket locking out his opponents who had campaigned against him during the party’s primaries. Mr Otiende is also a close Raila ally, he was also given a direct ticket to run for the seat. He narrowly won the seat by a small margin, garnering 37,676 votes against one Neto Adhola who got 23,266 votes. That small margin in Raila Odinga’s backyard spoke volumes.
Apart from the two loyalists who were direct beneficiaries of the ODM party, the other MPs who were subjected to a gruelling nomination exercise have since rebelled against the party leader claiming it was the voters who gave them the mandate after ODM attempted to shortchange them.
The MP representing Raila Odinga’s Bondo constituency Dr Gideon Ochanda has technically decamped from ODM to Kenya Kwanza. He was among the ODM MPs who met President Ruto at the State House. Mr Ochanda has been working closely with the Kenya Kwanza administration and during the voting on the Finance bill, he voted “Yes” to the chagrin of his party leader and a section of his constituents. Sources well versed with politics in Bondo claim that Raila Odinga had secretly campaigned for one Andiwo Mwai who comes from the same clan as Odinga’s family. His attempts at giving Mwai a direct party ticket met with rebellion, forcing the party’s election board to conduct primaries where Mr Ochanda won overwhelmingly with over 80 per cent of the votes cast. Mr Ochanda has been telling those who care to listen that for Bondo to develop, he must work with President Ruto.
Another rebel is Ugenya MP David Ochieng who has won two consecutive terms on the MDG party ticket defeating ODM candidates in the process hands down. MDG was initially an affiliate of Azimio but immediately after President Ruto took the oath of office, the party joined Kenya Kwanza. Mr Ochieng has remained a Raila critic making Siaya a county of many rebellious MPs. Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo is also now being branded a rebel. Mr Odhiambo has now come out to publicly declare support for President Ruto and Kenya Kwanza.
Odhiambo too claims that it was the voters who gave him the mandate during the party’s by-election where several attempts were made to rig him out. Sources say Raila’s preferred candidate for Gem was Dr Jalang’o Midiwo, his cousin. Despite Raila Odinga campaigning for Mr Midiwo secretly, Elisha Odhiambo defeated him and flew the ODM party flag in the elections. Mr Midiwo was later nominated as a Commissioner to the Commission of Revenue Allocation by former president Uhuru Kenyatta through Raila Odinga’s influence.
Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi is said to be in the middle ground. However, sources say he is eyeing a running mate slot for the Siaya county governor’s position in 2027. He is a close ally of Siaya Governor James Orengo. There have been whispers that should the Senate impeach Deputy Governor William Oduol then Mr Atandi may resign and be appointed DG. In the event that Mr Oduol survives impeachment then Mr Atandi will be the automatic running mate to Orengo in 2027.