As this year’s General election draws nearer, The Kisii County Gubernatorial race has attracted several candidates hoping to succeed the retiring ODM Governor James Elvis Ongwae. Ongwae is serving his last-second term.
Ongwae a close ally and an advisor to Raila Odinga has vowed to hand over the mantle to another competent ODM/Azimio Governor. So far, Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi, Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri, Kisii Woman Representative Janet Ongera, CAS Chris Obure, Dagoretti MP Simba Arati, and Manson Oyongo have shown interest in the Azimio Ticket.
On Monday this week with blessings from ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga, Governor Ongwae united the above in a highly attended Azimio la Umoja rally at the Agricultural Training Centre in Kisii Town. Simba Arati was conspicuously absent.
In Kisii politics, a front-runner candidate must have at least 90% of his backyard support and clearly explain how he will fairly share Government with other clans.
So far, Ababasi, Abamachoge, Abagirango, and Abanyaribari have fronted candidates.
The clan has fronted three candidates. Simba Arati, Chris Obure, and Janet Ongera. The three will muscle and share the clan votes. Janet is on record saying she might step down but retain her current seat under the ODM/Azimio ticket. The loyal woman rep who has been a secretariat, a nominated senator, and now a woman rep in ODM has been holding joint rallies with Joash Maangi. Being a close ally and among the valued Raila Odinga’s political advisors from Kisii, she might bag the ticket sending Arati and Obure out for the party cannot front a Governor and a woman rep from the same clan both on the same ticket.
The clan has fronted Nyaribari Masaba MP Ezekiel Machogu, Kisii senator Sam Ongeri, Charles Matoke, and Rachel Otundo to muscle out. The four will be forced to highly split the clan votes.
They have been in power under James Ongwae for two terms now. In 2013, they married Abamachoge under Joash Maangi as the deputy governor with a promise to pay back the debt. If they honor their promise, Ongwae is likely to back Maangi as Governor with a Deputy Governor from Bogetutu. This gives Maangi close to 80% support.
They have not fronted any candidate so far. They are on record saying they will back a candidate who will give them a convincing share in his Government.
They have fronted Omingo Magara under UDA and Manson Oyongo under Kenya National Congress Party. The two will split the clan votes.
The clan which consists of Bomachoge Chache and Bomachoge Borabu constituencies has close to 130,000 votes. They have fronted only Joash Gongera Maangi as their preferred candidate to muscle the rest. This gives him 95% of his backyard support. With the rising number of contestants, a winning candidate will hardly escape with more than 170,000 votes. If Abamachoge votes as a block, Maangi will have 120,000 clean starting votes from home. If Abagetutu pays back their debt as promised, Maangi will bag 60,000 votes sending him to a total of 180,000 casted votes.
Janet Ong’era from Bobasi has been publicly seen with Maangi, this means she will deliver at least 10,000 votes sending Maangi to a total of 190,000 total casted votes. According to a close source, talks are underway to have Ongeri retain his senatorial seat under Azimio/ODM and this means he will be forced to back Maangi with at least 15,000 votes from Bobasi. This sends Maangi to a total of 205,000 total casted Votes. If he wins the heart of Abanchari he will be supported by at least 20,000 votes sending him to 225,000 total votes.
From the above analysis, Maangi emerges as a front runner in this year’s Kisii Gubernatorial contest.