Busia

By Oduor Otieno

Succession politics for Busia governor seat is shaping up behind the scenes with two years remaining to the next General Elections slated for 2022.

The incumbent governor Sospeter Ojaamong will not be on the ballot after serving his two constitutional terms as Busia County governor.

Ojaamong has on various public occasions stated categorically that he is going to decide who becomes the next Busia governor.

Governor Sospeter Ojaamong

“ The person I am going to support will be the next governor. I will not hand over the government to our enemies,” Ojaamong said, adding that,” In 2017 I was contesting against Amos Wako and I beat him who else can match my political prowess in this county? He posed.

“ Mulomi is the best deputy governor in the country, he is always available whenever I am away to ensure the government runs smoothly,” said Ojaamong.

His Deputy Moses Mulomi is among potential contenders for the top county seat. Mulomi has been receiving praises from his boss in public function.

“ Mulomi is the best deputy governor in the country, he is always available whenever I am away to ensure the government runs smoothly,” said Ojaamong.

Woman Representative Florence Mutua, Senator Amos Wako, Privatization Commission Chairman Paul Otuoma who lost to Ojaamong in the 2017 polls have also shown interest succeed Ojaamong.

However, Wako is likely not to engage in active politics in 2022 according to his allies citing meedical reasons.

Others salivating for the top county seat are Nambale MP Sakwa Bunyasi, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) employee Vincent Sidai, Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) Managing Director Lucas Meso who some locals have branded ‘Facebook governor’ because of spirited campaigns he put up on social media with hired youths.

Busia Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi

Ojaamong in a bid to win support of Butula constituents prior to 2017, opted for Dr Mulomi as his running mate.

The governor had fallen out with his then Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa also from Butula constituency. Mr Wangalwa later decamped to Otuoma’s camp.

Wangalwa thought Otuoma will offer him a new job if the latter became Busia governor but that was not to be.

Mulomi is currently rated high for his cool approach on day to day running of county affairs.

The non-confrontational and diplomatic Mulomi has managed to streamline the more complex Health and Sanitation department where he serves as Executive Member in an acting capacity.

It is against this backdrop that has made Mulomi a darling of Busia residents. 

Scholars are convinced that he is the right person for Busia and therefore deserves to be the county Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Mulomi who is an Entomogist by profession boasts of immense experience in agricultural and research field having been in-charge of more than 13 countries in Africa as FAO head.

Dr Paul Otuoma

Due to his grasp on development, Ojaamong entrusted him with responsibility of monitoring all projects the county is implementing.

County Executive Committee Members together with their Chief Officers brief Mulomi regularly on the progress of projects in their departments. 

He has on a number of occasions been seen publicly commissioning development projects in various parts of the county on behalf of governor Ojaamong.

A CEC who sought anonymity said Mulomi means well for the county and if given chance, he can take the county to greater heights.

“Always punctual in a meeting and listens keenly to what departments are doing in terms of development and gives much needed ideas and direction to the cabinet in the absence of the governor,” said the CEC.

Ojaamong is on record assuring residents of Butula that he will reciprocate the favour they accorded him by allowing Mulomi to stand with him at the height of heated political contest with Otuoma.

He however challenged them to organize and front one person as their candidate for the governor. Mutua and Mulomi both hail from Butula constituency.

Mulomi enjoys considerable support from other luhya populated sub counties including Funyula, Budalang’i, Nambale, Matayos, besides Butula. 

Busia Women Rep Florence Mutua

“You have supported me twice, I will have to pay back in 2022 but put your house in order first so that your candidate can sail through easily,” said Ojaamong while in Butula last year. “

Mulomi is also upbeat that he has what it takes to lead Busia. “If our people decide to go for developed oriented person then I stand a good chance of being the second governor of Busia,” says Mulomi.

“There are a number of things we promised to deliver to the residents of Busia in 2017, the governor and I are committed to ensuring that we fulfill before next elections,” he said.

Mutua has her work cut out in the quest to become the next governor. She will have to weather the bad tribal politics that is likely to play out ahead of the General Elections.

Some Marachians are unhappy that she has lacked respect for Deputy governor Moses Mulomi on a number of occasions. 

The incident in Butula where the Woman Rep deliberately refused to acknowledge the presence of Muomi who was present during the tour of Mombasa governor Hassan Ali Joho in Butula nevet went down well with a section of elders who attended the event in Butula.

Busia Senator Amos Wako

Mutua has the backing of the women particularly in Teso region. Her political support in Teso may however be determined by who the First Lady Judy Ojaamong will support for Busia governor.

Mutua and Judy do not see eye to eye for reasons better known to them. 

Mutua refused to acknowledge the presence of Ms Judy who was present as one of the invited guests to the surprise of people who had attended the function.

Judy wants to be the next Busia Woman Representative while Ojaamong is going for Tsso South parliamentary seat in the subsequent elections. 

The differences between Mutua and Judy played out openly last year during a funds drive in Angorom which  was presided over by Ford Kenya Deputy party leader MP Richard Onyonka of Kitutu South Constituency.

Mutua refused to acknowledge the presence of Ms Judy who was present as one of the invited guests to the surprise of people who had attended the function.

“ Mutua has not convinced locals satisfactorily why she wants to be the governor and the habit of waging war with her competitors may work against her badly,” says Busia resident Julius Obuoro.

Nambale MP Sakwa Bunyasi

He added, If among the Luhya candidates that majority of Teso voters can go for is Mulomi and again the pro Ojaamong individuals working for the County are insisting on continuity and the sure bet is Mulomi.” 

Although Mutua has not publicly declared she is going for the seat, her movements in the county to woo for support tells it all.

Her National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) office at the Busia Airstrip is beehive of activity whenever she is around with women being given, jembes, lessos, grants and posho mills.

“ It is not time for politics but I will make official stance as we approach 2022,” she is quoted as saying. 

The recent appointment of Mutua as Spokesperson of Busia County was rejected by two MPs namely Sakwa Bunyasi (Nambale) and Oundo Mudenyo (Funyula) and elders led by their chair Mwalimu George Wesonga. 

Eng.Vincent-Sidai

Mr Bunyasi has already made it clear his name will be on the ballot. Sakwa has so far hosted elders from at least five constituencies trying to woo for their support ahead of pollls. 

He is also seen as development oriented individual and can take the county to greater heights. 

Just like Mulomi, Sakwa holds the view that if residents decide to go for someone who is keen on development then he is the right man for the job.

“The general view of the locals is that they want someone who is a manager and in me, they have the manager they want,” said Bunyasi.

Having worked with World Bank for many years, Bunyasi believes developing Busia will be as easy as ABC. 

He is currently serving his second term as Nambale lawmaker having been elected first during the 2013 General Elections.

Otuoma of late has been very close to ODM Raila Odinga. The former Funyula MP decamped ODM in 2017 and vied for Busia governor as an independent candidate following an acrimonious ODM primaries where he felt beat Ojaamong in nominations but he was rigged out.

He warned that politics of propaganda and innuendos aimed at tarnishing the reputation of other politicians is archaic and have no space in this era.

“ Busia is a cosmopolitan county, therefore politicians should focus on telling people their agenda because that is what is needed,” says Bunyasi.

Sidai who landed a new job at the Kenya Ports Authority has not declared interest of succeeding Ojaamong. He shelved his ambitions in 2017.

In 2013 he gave Ojaamong run for his money but lost while riding on defunct United Development Front (UDF). If luhyas happen to have many candidates but Teso front one candidates, political pundits say the Teso candidate will likely carry the day.

It remains to be seen if Ojaamong will stick with his Deputy or opt for someone else in 2022 as he is known to be a very crafty and cunning politician therefore Mulomi should not sit and wait for endorsement from his boss.

Lucas Meso

Matayos MP Geoffrey Odanga is on record saying that Teso region should not front a candidate but support whoever will come from luhya side.

“Tesos have tested power and seen how sweet it is, it would be prudent if this time round they supported a candidate from luhya side then in return they (Tesos) will be given DG position,” said Odanga.

Otuoma of late has been very close to ODM Raila Odinga. The former Funyula MP decamped ODM in 2017 and vied for Busia governor as an independent candidate following an acrimonious ODM primaries where he felt beat Ojaamong in nominations but he was rigged out.

Otuoma while in a cultural event in Budalang’I that was attended by Odinga last December appeared to apologise to Baba. “Baba I am still your son and an ODM diehard supporter,” he said

Otuoma’s remarks irked Mutua who is also Deputy Secretary General of the Orange Movement.

In response, Mutua said there was well laid out procedure that one must follow before being allowed back in the party and noted that roadside pronouncement by a politician was not one of them and it amounts to a waste of time.

Ends

Busia County Gubernatorial opinon poll to be out at the end of the month

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