The battle for Busia gubernatorial seat will be a three-horse race despite six candidates lined up for the most coveted seat in all the 47 counties since devolution took roots.
The bruising fight for the seat will be among the incumbent Busia governor Sospeter Ojaamong and Paul Otuoma (independent). Dan Barasa running on Jubilee ticket is finding the going rough with political cataracts he must overcome as his presence is not currently felt on the ground.
Just like the way his second wife, Thika Town MP, Alice Ng’ang’a is being rejected by voters, Barasa went against the tide to back Otuoma to please his Jubilee political godfathers. Barasa is lobbying to be appointed an ambassador by Jubilee in case Uhuru Kenyatta wins the presidency. While at the helm of the National Irrigation Board constructed a private school in Thika for the embattled MP’s family as a way of paying dowry. He deserted his first wife in Nairobi’s leafy Karen area who has sworn not to vote for him.
It is said Senator Moses Wako has deserted ODM plan to back Ojamoong for the top seat and was the brains behind Luhyas fronting one of their on to face the incumbent. Wako held meetings with various governor aspirants at Serena Hotel begging them to back Otuoma. The ANC man agreed but Barasa remained adamant.
Other candidates in the race include Francis Oyatsi, UDP, Michael Oloo, FK, whose running mate withdrew last week, and Mondo Aloysius who joined in the race at the eleventh hour.
However, it is said that Oloo has declared that he will be on the ballot box come the D-Day although his former running mate told the press that he has no support even from his Marachi home area. Oyatsi was depending on his party boss Cyrus Jirongo financial backing but Jirongo is keeping him waiting.
Most of the Busia residents had expected stiff competition between Ojaamong and Otuoma but now see Barasa as a spoiler.
Barasa who picked his running mate from Teso South which is Ojaamong’s home turf will change expectations of the governor getting all votes from the area as a bloc.
“It is going to be a big headache for Ojaamong to get all the votes from both Teso North and South constituencies as people had predicted because of Barasa and Otuoma’s running mate who are all Teso,” George Etyang said.
Etyang said the same scenario is expected to be witnessed in Nambale and Butula constituencies respectively.
It should be noted that the ANC candidate Humphrey Nakitare who was also another threat in the race withdrew at the last minute when he failed to appear before the Busia IEBC for clearance.
Rumour has it that the candidate stepped down after several consultations and being promised a senior post in case Otuoma wins the elections.
Busia deputy governor Kizito Wangalwa declared that he will not support the outgoing governor Ojaamong in the forthcoming general elections, but will seek votes for Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga or any other person who will be interested in him.
Wangalwa made the move when realised that Ojaamong was sourcing for another running mate from his Butula constituency home despite assuring his Marachi people that he will not abandon him.
Ojaamong picked Moses Mulomi from Butula as his running mate leaving Wangalwa at midpoint.
Inner sources revealed that Wangalwa has joined Otuoma’s camp and has vowed to campaign for him so that he can become the next Busia governor.
The contest for the seat will be held on tribal lines because Ojaamong who defending the seat is being challenged by five candidates who are all Luhyas.
Teso community might throw their weight behind their son Ojaamong, although it will not be an easy task the way it had been predicted by his followers.
It should be noted Otuoma picked former Muhoroni subcounty commissioner Solomon Abwaku from Teso North constituency as his running mate, something that will hinder Ojaamong from garnering all votes in the area.
Despite being confident of retaining the seat for the second term, Ojaamong will be going to the political war as a lone ranger after being disowned by all Busia leaders including the remaining three ODM leaders in the county.
The only three ODM leaders in Busia county include Senator Amos Wako, Matayo’s MP Geoffrey Odanga and women rep Florence Mutua.
Other impeccable sources revealed that ODM leaders will not support Ojaamong during campaigns ahead of the general elections, complicating matters for the incumbent.
Wako declared openly in public that he will only seek votes for Nasa presidential candidate Raila, adding that other ODM candidates will fight their own war.
However, it is said that Wako has thrown his weight behind Otuoma to ensure that Busia county get a new governor. Ojamoong’s leaderships has in the past been characterised with claims of corruption.
Reliable sources said that ODM leaders in Busia changed their mind following the recent disputed party primaries that made Otuoma to defect and decided to vie for the seat as an independent candidate.
Elder’s from five subcounties have supported Otuoma’s bid for being elected as the next Busia governor with running mate Solomon Abwaku from Teso South. Otuoma is viewed as level headed and a good listener.