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Siaya legislators vow to send governor home 

Bondo MP Dr. Ochanda addressing the public during the meeting which endorsed him to defend his seat.

Photo by Philip Onyango, KNA,

Three Siaya legislators Sunday vowed to ensure that area governor, Cornel Rasanga Amoth is kicked out of the office during the next general elections, accusing him of massive plunder of public resources.
Legislators Jakoyo Midiwo (Gem), Gideon Ochanda (Bondo) and Nicholas Gumbo (Rarieda) further questioned the source of sudden wealth that the governor had accumulated in the last four years, saying there was need for investigations.

The three were speaking at the home of Mzee Anyim Mahadha in Uyawi, Bondo constituency when they met with Nyasimwa sub clan. The sub clan, together with Nyibinya (where former Prime Minister Raila Odinga hails from) forms the Sakwa clan which dominates Bondo constituency.

Midiwo, Ochanda and Gumbo lamented that despite Siaya County having received over Sh 20 billion in the last four years, there was nothing that the county government can show for it.

They said that nepotism in employment and corruption was the order of the day in the county government.

Ochanda said that the county started on a wrong footing at the advent of devolution when they accepted a person whose background they did not know well to take over the reins of power.

“We have a chance not to repeat the same mistake by electing a focused person to be the next governor,” said the Bondo legislator.

Ochanda asked the Orange Democratic Movement not to interfere with the party’s nomination process by rigging in those who will be rejected by the electorate, warning that the backlash will be unimaginable.

Midiwo said the governor, who enjoys support of nominated MP, Dr. Oburu Odinga should be ashamed of seeking reelection after mismanaging the county’s resources.

“Machakos County Governor Mutua can show the projects he has funded with almost similar amount of funds he has received, including an over 100 kilometre road network but in Siaya, there is totally nothing,” he said.

Both Ochanda and Midiwo declared their support for Gumbo’s gubernatorial bid, saying he was focused and capable of steering the county as its chief executive.

In his address, Mr. Gumbo said massive corruption in the counties, Siaya included, was costing the public development.

He said that as the chairman of  Public Accounts Committee in the National Assembly, he was concerned over the rate at which public funds were being pilfered by those entrusted to manage them.

“Theft is theft. We cannot condemn theft by the national government and fail to do the same in the counties,” he said while vowing to ensure that the vice was stopped and Siaya residents got the value of devolution if elected the governor.

During the meeting, the Nyasimwa sub clan, led by their patron Mr. Mwai Andiwo made a declaration to support Mr. Gumbo’s candidature as the Governor of Siaya and Gideon Ochanda as the Member of Parliament for Bondo.

They said that though Dr. Oburu Odinga was their clansman, they cannot support him as he had not done anything for the last 24 years he has been in parliament.

“As Nyasimwa, we have declared that Oburu should retire from politics and play an advisory role. We will not vote for him or any candidate that he fronts,” said Andiwo who however added that their clan’s support for Raila Odinga remained intact.

Siaya gubernatorial race has so far attracted three candidates, Gumbo, politician William Oduol and the sitting governor, Rasanga Amoth. Siaya senator, James Orengo is also said to be interested in the race, having paid for the ODM nominations though he is yet to officially declare his bid.

The declaration by Gem and Bondo legislators that they will support Gumbo means that the incumbent Governor will have to work extra hard to retain the seat; Local residents believe that the entry of Orengo in the race will seal Rasanga’s fate.

The governor has not been in good terms with five of the six elected Members of Parliament in Siaya County.

By Philip Onyango

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