African Press International (API)

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Competition for power – general elections 2017 in Kisumu

Posted by African Press International on December 17, 2016

By our reporter.

The list of candidates wishing to clinch the Kisumu Central seat continue to grow.

The latest entrant is Kisumu based businessman Yusuf Ooro.
Yusuf unsuccessfully contested for the siaya senatorial seat on jubilee.

He had also contested a civic seat in 2007 but had to decamp to PNU after claiming he was rigged out in the ODM.

Following his decision to run on parties percieved unwelcome in the area,the businessman suffered immensely during the violence.

His home in Kisumu was invaded and he lost his bushiness es in the ensuing chaos.

" I put my life and that of my young family in the line.my four vehicles,including a pick-up were torched. I lost property worth millions when youths attacked my home in Mamboleo. My business premises were razed too. It happened in 2007 and in 2013 too." Said Ooro.

He is disappointed that despite the risk he took to support jubilee in a CORD dominated area, the coalition abandoned him . neither did the police help him to arrest and brig to book the people who destroyed his property.

This time he says he will wait for directions from his supporters for his choice of political vehicle.

He announced his interest to battle it out with other contestants last week at a fundraising event at a church in obuolo where he donated 300,000 and he believe he will win.

He’s been busy traversing the constituency ahead of the polls.

The seat is currently held by Ken Obura of ODM.

Obura who beat several candidates at the party primaries to get ODM ticket is currently percieved to be working with jubilee brigade. He has been percieved not to be loyal to the party.

Although he has denied it, such claims can really hurt his second shot at the seat.
Obura believe he’s still the man to beat and that he will make a come back but all that will be for the voters to determine having evaluated his performance.

Former Kisumu mayor Sam Okello is also claimed to be eying the seat.
While Okelo had better times at town hall and is accredited for spearheading efforts to bring development through Kisumu urban development project KUP, he will have it difficult to explain a few missteps during his tenure.

For example, it was during his time at the helm when the council announced it was allocating plots to new holders in kibos and kanyakwar.

Those who got the allotments now feel cheated, infact conned .
Despite having applied for the plots after the councils advertisement in the local dailies and paying rates promptly to the LA, the national land commission recently revoked the same.

The commission said the now defunct Kisumu municipal had no mandate over the said percels so what happened under Okelo’s watch was a sham.

So if he runs, he is bound to explain to voters just what exactly happened.

The former MP Ken Nyagudi is also rumured to be in the race although he is yet to publicly declare.

Having been a resident of the constituency and the town ,if he choose to vie he will have to vigorously defend his term in Parliament and what he was able to do for his constituents then.

The constituency was created during the review of the boundaries and took part in the polls as constituency number 240 for the first time in the last general election.

It had 95,644 voters in 2013 . During the mass voter registration conducted by IEBC in February and March this year, the constituencytopped the listing of new voters with 12,970 new voters being listed out of the 27,629 targeted by the commission.

The constituency has six wards namely railway, Migosi,shauri moyo,market Milimani ,kondele and Nyalenda B wards.

The area is cosmopolitan and has existing infrastructure. What needs to be done is to ensure they are improved and made functional.

It however has the most populated informal settlements where joblessness and poverty rein supreme and needs to be checked.
Housing especially in these slums is a worrying problem that the leaders are yet to fix.

Roads,especially in the estates are in pathetic state and insecurity is bothering most residents.

A Titanic battle is expected among the candidates who will be wishing to run on the ODM ticket, this being the most popular party in the region.

Every candidate will have to put their best foot forward and will do whatever it takes to clinch the party ticket because whoever make it at this level stands a higher chance of becoming the MP at the main polls.

Others are expected to declare their interest as the country heads to the polls.

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