African Press International (API)

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The battle for Kisumu Central seat kicks off – IEBC clears candidates

Posted by African Press International on June 1, 2017

By our reporter Dennis in Kisumu.

The battle to replace Ken Obura in the Kisumu Central seat kicked off in top gear as IEBC cleared three candidates to run on Thursday last week.

Yusuf Ooro who is running as an independent candidate and Fred Ouda of ODM got the nod to now go and market themselves to the over 100,000 registered voters in the cosmopolitan constituency.

The other Candidate cleared will be on the jubilee ticket.

Apart from Ooro who chose to go independent right from the beginning, many aspirants trooped to ODM given the huge following the party commands in the region.

It attracted many aspirants amongst them the immediate former TNA Secretary general who had just decamped to ODM .

The jostling brought with it a fierce competition among the aspirants but many never made it beyond the party’s primaries with claims that the exercise wasn’t free and fair.

But after alot of push and pull, the party conducted it’s last nominations and Ouda emerged victorious.

While presenting his nomination papers to the commission on Thursday at Lion’s high school in Kisumu, Ooro asked for tolerance from his opponents and urged them to conduct campaigns free from violence.

He said he was however optimistic that he will trounce his opponents and become the second MP for Kisumu Central which had its first representation in Parliament in 2013.

" We have a great potential to grow as a constituency, and Kisumu being the region’s economic hub, all we must do is change the narrative. We must ensure we’re peacefull to enable investment to thrive"

Ouda is also hoping to ride on the party’s popularity and his mobilization skills to bring numbers to his side.

Voters will be keen to pick a leader who will address issues of concern to them such as infrastructure development, housing especially for the informal settlements and tackle the runaway problem of youth unemployment.

Many young people in the town are in the informal sector especially the boda boda business and juakali. They will certainly be looking for a person who will work towards reviving the many stalled industries in the town so that they can get jobs.

Such a person will have to ensure he works closely with the county government, the national government and other development partners to take Kisumu to another level.

But the biggest battle will be between Prof Anyang Nyongo of ODM and Jack Ranguma the current Governor who went independent and was cleared to run by IEBC on Thursday.

He has repeatedly said that the elections were a sham and that’s why he opted to go as independent candidate following what he described as intense consultations with his supporters who wanted to see him run

NASA leadership has made it clear that they will only back their candidates.

When he presented his nomination papers last week, Ranguma said he has faith the August polls will be above board and he’s confident he will win

He unveiled his new running mate Mr Ephraim Akanga , a Knut official after appearing before IEBC at Tom Mboya labor college.

" With you on my side, the people of Kisumu, I believe we will surmount what might appear impossible " he said

The NASA wave is strong in Kisumu, including in the whole of Nyanza and this might boost chances of Prof Nyongo, who was also cleared on Friday to carry the ODM flag. The ultimate decision however lies with the people who will turn out to vote on the polling day.

End

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