Barely one week after the ODM party expelled Langata MP Felix Odiwuor aka Jalango, fresh details have emerged over the party leader’s preferred successor in the constituency. Analysts however argue that the MP is likely to serve his full term since he is already pursuing justice in court against the expulsion.
Popular comedian Eric Omondi will likely contest the Langata seat in 2027, but what are his chances of clinching the seat? Last week, Mr Omondi was hosted by Mama Ida Odinga and later by ODM leader Raila Odinga. Although the details of their discussion remain scanty, sources divulged that the main agenda was Jalango’s replacement either mid-term or in 2027. Raila Odinga is aware that winning the Langat seat is tricky and requires serious consultations. As to whether Mr Omondi can win the seat in 2027, that remains a subject of discussion.
Several factors will determine who will become the next MP for Langata in 2027. During the last general elections, the difference in votes between Jalang’o and UDA candidate Nixon Korir was 2,000 votes, while the difference between the presidential votes was 24,000 votes in favour of Raila against William Ruto.
Statistically speaking, over 20,000 voters cast their votes for Raila Odinga for president but voted for Nixon Korir for MP. It is therefore wise to conclude that Jalang’o was not the choice for ODM-only supporters, his popularity cuts across party lines. Analysts now say that the only option left for Jalang’o is to defend his seat on the UDA ticket. However, he has been quoted as saying that he is most likely to run as an independent candidate.
Running as an independent candidate could, however, be counterproductive, as UDA will also field a candidate in Langata. In such an event, UDA supporters will vote for their candidate and not Jalango. A second scenario is if Jalango runs on the UDA ticket against an ODM candidate, assuming it will be Erick Omondi. In this scenario, what will determine the winner, is Azimio’s presidential flag bearer.
Going by previous voting patterns, Omondi will benefit from voters from Western Kenya who call Kibra home, mainly Luos and Luhyas, leaving Jalang’o with the majority of Kikuyu votes. If Kalonzo Musyoka is the flag bearer on Azimio, then the Kamba votes will provide the swing votes for the seat. Kalonzo will convince the Kamba community to vote for the ODM candidate.
During the last elections, the Wiper candidate for the Langata constituency got 6,000 votes, and with Kalonzo flying the Azimio presidential flag, the Wiper party might be compromised not to field a candidate in Langata, and that is how the Kamba swing vote comes in handy.
The tribal factor is also critical in Langata politics. The Luos, who are the majority in Langata, will divide the votes between Jalango and Omondi. Analysts say if Jalango is to win in 2027, he must retain 30% of the Luo votes and inherit the Kamba supporters.