Gubernatorial aspirants in Vihiga county are shopping for running mates ahead of next year’s general elections. The governor is Wilbur Otichillo and his deputy is Patrick Saisi from Tiriki community in Hamisi subcounty.
The relationship between Otichillo and his deputy has been frosty ever since they were elected in 2017. In fact word has it that Otichillo is eyeing former Hamisi MP Vincent Mmaitsi to be his running mate in the 2022 general elections. Using Mmaitsi, Otichillo wants to secure the Tiriki vote bloc. For women representative, Otichillo is likely to back a Maragoli from Vihiga constituency. For senatorship, he is likely to back a Tiriki again as he did in 2017.
Otichillo’s move to back a women rep from Vihiga constituency is aimed at getting the votes from the area on grounds Sabatia constituency is the home ground of his main competitor Sabatia MP Alfred Agoi. Dangling the women rep seat is likely to help him get votes in Vihiga compared to Sabatia. Agoi is also eyeing a running mate from Luanda constituency. Agoi is targeting the populous Abamutete clan in his gameplan.
The clan is currently in political limbo ever since the late Sheldon Muchilwa was defeated as Emuhaya MP. Otichillo is from Emuhaya constituency. The politics of Luanda and Emuhaya constituencies is likely to play a key role. However others say, Agoi like Otichillo, is also going for a Tiriki running mate. For senatorship, Agoi is also set to work like the governor. He is also offering women rep seat to Emuhaya constituency. Then we have Senator George Khaniri.
He is offering running mate to a Bunyore and senatorship to Maragoli. Another formidable face in the race is Francis Ominde, who is also shopping for a running mate. The latest entrant in the race is Alex Kidake, a Nairobi businessman. Reports indicate if Khaniri is to run on ODM ticket for governorship, he will have nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi replace him as senator. Khaniri is aware, Agoi one of key financiers of ANC is likely to bag party ticket.
Khaniri is now praying Musalia Mudavadi be a compromise candidate in Uhuru succession race thus forcing Agoi to shelve his governorship ambitions and allow him get ANC ticket. It is not known if Khaniri will face ODM in nominations as he is an ANC member. Khaniri’s troubles for now seem to be rotating around campaign funds. In fact, it is said, if he will not be going for governorship, Khaniri is likely to run for MP and then lobby to be appointed a cabinet minister if the BBI report passes referendum.