Bad day for ‘rebels’ on Raila, Ruto turf as voters heed six-piece call voting pattern 

ODM leader Raila Odinga with Deputy President William Ruto.

ODM leader Raila Odinga with Deputy President William Ruto during the installation ceremony of Bishop Anyolo as Archbishop of Kisumu at Uzima University Grounds in Kisumu on January 12, 2019. Photo/Ondari Ogega

Photo credit: Ondari Ogega | Nation Media Group

Summary

  • UDA’s wave in the Rift Valley has sent all the rebels packing, with those who were thought to have put up a spirited fight being trounced following DP Ruto’s tour of the region.
  • The initial ratings forced DP Ruto to visit all the places individually to implore locals not to embarrass him.
  • A similar scenario played out in Nyanza where ODM has won most seats, despite independents giving Mr Odinga’s candidates a run for their money.

Deputy President William Ruto and his main presidential challenger Raila Odinga of Azimio La Umoja One Kenya have stamped their authority in their backyards of Rift Valley and Nyanza respectively.

Following what had been described as ‘bungled’ nominations, disgruntled aspirants in both the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) of Dr Ruto and former Prime Minister’s ODM opted to run as independents or through other political vehicles, posing a threat to the two big guns, but the outcome of the Tuesday election, whose presidential tallying is underway, has seen Mr Odinga and Dr Ruto deliver six-piece voting in their home turfs.

Dr Ruto’s UDA candidates faced stiff competition from those perceived as rebels in the region and he had to camp in his backyard to rally the community against independents and candidates from other parties, a similar strategy used by Mr Odinga in Nyanza.

Rift Valley

UDA’s wave in the Rift Valley has sent all the rebels packing, with those who were thought to have put up a spirited fight being trounced following DP Ruto’s tour of the region.

Despite Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) of Isaac Ruto being in Kenya Kwanza Alliance with UDA, DP Ruto insisted on residents electing only his party’s candidates.

This saw Mr Ruto fail to reclaim the Bomet governor seat that he lost in 2017. Incumbent Hillary Barchok won.

The two presidential rivals believe that the six-piece route would guarantee stability, as coalition partners often demand concessions every time numbers are marshalled for a key government agenda.

Some of the DP's allies from Nandi County who refused to concede during nominations are Cornelius Serem (Aldai), Dr Wilson Kogo (Chesumei), Vincent Tuwei (Mosop), Dr Tecla Tum (Nandi) and Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills). 

Uasin Gishu had those perceived as rebels. They are Silas Tiren (Moiben), Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet), William Chepkut (Ainabkoi) and Dr Swarup Mishra (Kesses) although they didn't participate in the UDA nominations.

The initial ratings forced DP Ruto to visit all the places individually to implore locals not to embarrass him. The message was packaged to portray such candidates as enemies of the community.

The DP said his party had been embraced quite well in other parts of the country, hence there was no way in his home turf, there would be independent candidates being voted.

"UDA has been embraced well in other parts of the country like Mombasa, Nairobi, Machakos and we will win those seats; therefore, there is no way here at home, you'll vote independent candidates," said Dr Ruto while camping in Aldai Constituency.

Other places where UDA candidates were not doing well included Mogotio and Keiyo North.

Dr Ruto’s visit bore fruit as his candidates have won. UDA clinched five constituencies in Kanu chairman Gideon Moi’s Baringo County, save for Tiaty where incumbent William Kamket retained the seat on the independence party’s ticket. DP Ruto never touched down in Tiaty.

The UDA wave was also dented in Elgeyo Marakwet County by two independents. Timothy Toroitich won the Marakwet West MP seat, while Caroline Ngelechei was on course to take the woman rep seat. 

Nyanza

A similar scenario played out in Nyanza where ODM has won most seats, despite independents giving Mr Odinga’s candidates a run for their money.

After saying he was not part of the consensus built by Mr Odinga in April, former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero decided to vie as an independent for the Homa Bay governor seat, something which tested ODM’s might in the region.

ODM parliamentary candidates who won were also not sitting pretty as independents forced them into epic battles.

Outgoing Homa Bay woman rep Gladys Wanga won the gubernatorial race that initially had 10 aspirants before the number was reduced to three after other politicians withdrew in March.

She garnered 244,559 votes against Dr Kidero’s 154,182. Mr Mark Raudi (UDA) had 1,244 votes.

In Rangwe, incumbent Lilian Gogo outsmarted three independents—former MP George Oner, Dr Erick Komollo and William Omburo Odaje who had opposed the manner in which the incumbent was given a direct ticket by ODM. ODM bagged all the eight MP seats in Homa Bay County.

ODM has been dented in Migori where the Woman Representative seat has gone to Ms Fatuma Mohammed (independent), who managed 154, 538 votes. Nominated MP Dennitah Ghati of ODM got 117, 597 votes.

In Siaya County, Mr Odinga’s ODM lost only the Ugenya parliamentary seat to Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG) party leader David Ochieng. ODM has won the three county seats in Siaya, Kisumu and Homa Bay.

Both DP Ruto and Mr Odinga before elections told their bases that voting for independents or other parties was like denying them foot soldiers to implement their manifestos if elected. 

Coast

Strict party discipline and reaching out to political allies with a massive influence on voters were strategies ODM employed to win 12 of the 26 constituencies in six coastal counties.

The party marshalled support, with key figures like Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir urging voters to support ODM candidates by evoking previous political ties with party leader Raila Odinga.

Due to Mr Odinga’s popularity in the region, many MPs and aspirants joined the party in the belief that the race would be half won if one bagged the party ticket. The eventual victory for ODM candidates, who were hand-picked during the nominations, is a triumph for Mr Odinga.

The party also had to deal with the real challenge of fending off Dr Ruto’s UDA while dealing with ripples caused by internal squabbles. Results show that leaders who opted to leave the party were punished by voters at the ballot.

The remaining seats were won by parties allied to the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition, marking UDA’s disastrous showing, as it only won Nyali (Ali Mohamed) and Msambweni (Feisal Bader) parliamentary races.

“The results show that the Coast is still an ODM stronghold. We ask our voters to come out in large numbers so that we get an ODM governor in Mombasa in the postponed polls. Don’t be shaken, don't be cowed,” Mr Nassir said.

Besides consolidating Mr Odinga’s position within the party and the region, the election results are seen as victories for President Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee and Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka who also affirmed their influence in the Coast region.

Wiper clinched Voi (Abdi Chome), Wundanyi (Danson Mwashako) and Taveta (John Bwire) seats in Taita Taveta County, while Jubilee won the Lamu East, Lamu West and Mwatate (Peter Shake) seats.

In Mombasa, ODM took assailable leads in Jomvu (Badi Twalib), Kisauni (Rashid Bedzemba), Changamwe (Omar Mwinyi), Mvita (Mohamed Machele) and Likoni (Mishi Mboko).

In Kilifi where DP Ruto was thought to have had a masterstroke when he won over Governor Amason Kingi and Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, the Orange party registered wins in Kilifi North (Owen Baya), Kilifi South (Ken Chonga), Magarini (Harrison Kombe), Kaloleni (Paul Katana) and Malindi (Amina Mnyanzi). Mr Kombo defeated Governor Kingi’s brother, Michael Kingi, who vied on a Pamoja Africa Alliance (PAA) ticket. 

Governor Kingi’s PAA registered significant wins in Rabai (Anthony Mupe) and Ganze (Ken Charo) constituencies as well as six of the 35 MCAs. ODM scooped 16 MCAs while UDA inroads paid off with six. PAA also got four MCA seats in Kwale County and five in Taita Taveta.

The decision by PAA to field candidates in the election is believed to have upset UDA, given they had signed an agreement to work together.

In Kwale, PAA also won the Kinango seat, while Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC retained Matuga and United Democratic Movement got Lungalunga.

And in Tana River, Ali Guyo of ODM was declared Garsen MP as was Said Hiribae of Galole. Yakub Adow of UPIA was declared the winner in Bura Constituency.