Two women seek Alego Usonga seat in male dominated race

Thursday June 15 2017

Mrs Rosemary Ogutu, who is eyeing Alego Usonga MP’s seat on a Ford Kenya ticket. The other woman contestant for the seat is Mrs Macillista Oudia of Chama Cha Mashinani. PHOTO | NELCON ODHIAMBO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Rosemary Ogutu, who is eyeing the Alego Usonga MP’s seat on a Ford Kenya ticket. The other woman contestant for the seat is Macillista Oudia of Chama Cha Mashinani. PHOTO | NELCON ODHIAMBO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NELCON ODHIAMBO
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Alego Usonga constituency in Siaya County is likely to have a woman MP for the first time should voters elect one of the only two women in the male-dominated race.

Both women say they are confident of unseating incumbent George Omondi Muluan to make history in the constituency and join the few female colleagues from Nyanza trying to make a mark in parliamentary politics.

Rosemary Ogutu, a nominated Siaya MCA (Ford Kenya), and Macillista Oudia of Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) will face off with Samuel Atandi (ODM), Odunga Mamba (independent) and Mr Muluan, also an independent candidate, in the August 8 elections.

GRACE OGOT

The women are the second lot to contest the MP seat in Siaya County after the late Grace Ogot, who in 1984 contested and won the Gem parliamentary seat and served in the Cabinet of President Daniel arap Moi.

Other women seeking to be elected are Christine Ombaka (ODM), Violet Omwamba (Jubilee) and Florence Aluodo (independent), all eying the Siaya woman rep seat.

Mrs Ogutu and Mrs Oudia and their three male rivals are battling to get the support of the more than 100,000 registered voters.

According to the IEBC, Alego Usonga is the largest of the six constituencies in Siaya County.

CONFIDENT

The women have exuded confidence they will win the seat, but they will have to deal with issues of clanism, gender and economic empowerment, which have featured greatly in the campaigns.

While the male candidates will reach to their clansmen for support and votes, the women will bank their hopes on womenfolk and youth, who are the majority.

Alego Usonga constituency has a number of clans, including the populous Kakan clan, Mr Muluan’s Karouth clan, the Kaluo, Kanyinek, Kalkada, Kager and Karapul, among others.

The women did not participate in the ODM nominations that were conducted on April 26.

FORD KENYA

Mrs Ogutu has vowed to put up a spirited fight against the incumbent, Mr Muluan, and the other candidates in the race as a way of making the presence of Nasa-affiliated Ford Kenya felt in the region.

She has dismissed critics who say that no woman is capable of leading the constituency, insisting that she will make history by becoming the first woman MP for Alego Usonga.

Mrs Ogutu urged women and youth to support her candidacy as it revolves around issues of women and youth empowerment.

“I will make education and women and youth empowerment a priority. This is by ensuring all needy students are in school as well as ensuring that all women and youth have steady financial sources, thus reducing overdependence on politicians’ handouts,” said Mrs Ogutu.

The other woman candidate, Mrs Oudia, says political violence has kept a majority of women out of elective positions and they have resorted to waiting to be nominated.