During last year’s general elections, Mr Orengo won with 220,349 votes against Gumbo’s 147,558 and going by the ODM/Azimio wave that swept across Luo Nyanza Mr Gumbo surprisingly gave Orengo a run for his money. According to the last election results, Gumbo received more votes than Orenbo in the Rarieda, Bondo, and Gem constituencies. Orengo had an upper hand in his political backyard of Ugenya and Ugunja, while Oduol delivered the Alego Usonga votes
Siaya Governor James Orengo’s political future could be in jeopardy if the planned political alliance between Siaya Deputy Governor William Oduol and former gubernatorial candidate Nicholas Gumbo becomes a reality. If the events of last week’s tour by President William Ruto to Siaya County are anything to go by, then Governor Orengo must be prepared for a political duel of his lifetime should he face the Oduol and Gumbo joint ticket.
The presidential protocol team was put in a difficult situation during Ruto’s trip to Siaya last week when the audience insisted on hearing from Gumbo and Oduol. To Governor Orengo’s dismay, the two politicians who are now Ruto’s allies were greeted enthusiastically by the roaring crowd. A seemingly disappointed Orengo could not believe his eyes when the crowd demanded that they be addressed by Gumbo. Politically speaking, the events sent cold shivers down the spine of Mr Orengo and his inner team of advisers, who must now retreat to work on a counterplan.
During last year’s general elections, Mr Orengo won with 220,349 votes against Gumbo’s 147,558 and going by the ODM/Azimio wave that swept across Luo Nyanza, Mr Gumbo surprisingly gave Orengo a run for his money. According to the last election results, Gumbo received more votes than Orenbo in the Rarieda, Bondo, and Gem constituencies. Orengo had an upper hand in his political backyard of Ugenya and Ugunja, while Oduol delivered the Alego Usonga votes.
With Oduol out of Orengo’s 2027 political power plans and with mummers from Alego Usonga voters saying that Orengo has sidelined them and is fighting their sons, Mr Oduol will most likely deliver over 70% of the Alego Usonga votes to Gumbo’s vote basket. In Gumbo’s political backyard of Rarieda, he has always locked out his opponents, dating way back to 2017 when he contested against Cornel Rasanga, and the same was repeated in 2022 when he locked out Orengo.
In the neighbouring Bondo constituency, during the last elections, Gumbo gave Orengo a humiliating defeat, the same happened in Gem. The three constituencies of Gem, Rarieda, and Bondo have remained Gumbo’s political bedrock since 2017, and nothing much is expected to change in 2027. Another constituency known to be friendly to Gumbo is Ugunja. With Oduol as Gumbo’s running mate, Alego Usonga will cast their vote for their son.
Statistically, Orengo can only count on his backyard of Ugenya and the neighbouring constituency of Ugunja. However, in Ugenya, he will have to counter the growing influence of Ugenya MP David Ochieng, who has managed to defeat the ODM wave in two successive elections. With Ochieng’s influence, Gumbo and Oduol can be assured of almost half of the Ugenya votes. Going by the above facts, Orengo is aware that his chances of successfully defending the Siaya gubernatorial seat remain a big political problem.
What is worrying Orengo’s team is whether ODM leader Raila Odinga will run for the presidency in 2027. Pundits say that in the absence of Raila in the presidential race, the ODM wave in Luo Nyanza will die a natural death, and voters will be free to vote for their preferred candidates, not political parties. The absence of Raila Odinga from the presidential race in 2027 will be to Gumbo’s advantage, and Orengo will be the first one-term Siaya governor.