By The Weekly Vision Team
In a scenario where Raila Odinga is not a presidential candidate and Mr Orengo comes face-to-face with Gumbo in 2027, then that will be a done deal, Orengo will be humiliated. Apart from the Raila Odinga factor, the rate at which the governor has been deserted by his former allies is a clear indication that all is not well in his camp
Siaya Governor James Orengo is on the verge of making history by becoming the first-ever governor of the county to serve for only one term. Mr Orengo faces a growing rebellion from members of the public over his alleged failure to fulfil pledges he made in the run-up to the 2022 general elections.
Analysts say Mr Orengo only won the gubernatorial race in Siaya because of the strong ODM party wave that was sweeping the region at the time. He garnered 220,349 votes, while his closest challenger, Nicholas Gumbo, came in second with 147,558. The difference between the two candidates was 72,791. Considering the ODM wave that swept the entire Luo region and the difference in votes between Orengo and Gumbo of just 72,791, this speaks volumes.
Experts say it is high time Orengo retreated to the drawing board and started working for the people rather than being the activist he has always been. Pundits say that what should worry Mr. Orengo most is that the ODM wave may not exist in 2027. It is an open secret that if Raila Odinga’s name is not on the 2027 presidential ballot, then there will be no ODM wave in Luo Nyanza.
In a scenario where Raila Odinga is not a presidential candidate and Mr Orengo comes face-to-face with Gumbo in 2027, then that will be a done deal, Orengo will be humiliated. Apart from the Raila Odinga factor, the rate at which the governor has been deserted by his former allies is a clear indication that all is not well in his camp. To begin with, his deputy, Oduol Denge, who played a huge part in the governor’s successful election by financing their joint campaigns, has deserted him. Sources say Mr Oduol financed their campaigns; having contested against former governor Rasanga Amoth in 2013, he had structures in place; he only needed to activate his contacts to claim victory, and he did. Analysts say that had Oduol run for governorship in 2022, he would have defeated Mr. Orengo hands down. With Oduol out of Orengo’s camp, statistically, he has moved out with 30% of his supporters who voted for Orengo in 2022.
The fallout between Orengo and the majority of Siaya County MCAs and most MPS from Siaya is yet another clear indication that Mr Orengo is not sitting pretty and is aware that unless the rebel MPs swallow their pride to rejoin ODM ahead of the 2027 elections, he stands no chance of winning back the seat. Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda, who was his key man in Bondo Sub-County, has abandoned him and is now working closely with the UDA party of President William Ruto. Political analysts say that Mr. Ochanda is one man whom James Orengo can ignore at his peril.
Sources say that the ODM party bigwigs never wanted Mr Ochanda to fly the party’s flag in the 2022 elections; it was only due to pressure from voters, who insisted that if he was shortchanged in the party’s nominations, then they were ready to vote him in as an independent candidate.
Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo has also parted ways with Mr Orengo and has joined the Kenya Kwanza bandwagon. Elisha is now a serious critic of Mr Orengo, and interestingly, Elisha has continued to enjoy the backing of the majority of Gem voters even after he jumped ship to work with President William Ruto.
Ugenya MP David Ochieng is another MP who was a strong Orengo supporter but has now come out to declare his opposition to the governor’s administration. He has teamed up with Mr. Oduol, Ochanda, and Elisha, giving Mr. Orengo sleepless nights. It is also imperative to note that a section of MCAs, especially those from Alego, Usonga, Bondo, Ugunja, and Gem sub-counties, are not on good terms with Mr. Orengo, whom they accuse of having failed to deliver on his election pledges.
The only MPs known to have remained loyal to Mr Orengo are Otiende Amollo of Rarieda and Sam Atandi of Alego. During the failed impeachment of DG Oduol, Atandi was promised the position of Deputy Governor to replace Oduol. Both Oduol and Atandi come from Alego Usonga. The current political wind blowing in Siaya County is the formation of Mr Gumbo as the governor and Oduol as his deputy in 2027. This formation is giving ODM sleepless nights, as the two of us currently enjoy majority support from the voters.