Jubilee gives ODM new headache in Kisii

Friday August 19 2016

Cord leader Raila Odinga with members of the Kisii community living in Nairobi at a press conference at Orange House in the city on August 9, 2016. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Cord leader Raila Odinga with members of the Kisii community living in Nairobi at a press conference at Orange House in the city on August 9, 2016. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MAGATI OBEBO
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The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) may have to devise new political strategies to neutralise a concerted onslaught by the ruling Jubilee coalition in the Gusii region.

Recent visits to State House by leaders from the region, among them Kisii Senator Chris Obure, have presented ODM diehards and party leader Raila Odinga with a new headache.

Mr Odinga is battling hard to counter a similar onslaught in western Kenya.

It is worth noting that the region overwhelmingly voted for Mr Odinga in the last General Election.

During his surprise visit to the region two weeks ago, many political titans were missing from the welcoming party.

Jubilee leaders have made several trips to the region, with President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto leading the onslaught to get a "slice of the pie" and woo voters to their side.

Senator Obure and Deputy Governor Joash Maangi, ODM's organising secretary in the region, have not met the Cord leader since their State House visit.

The trip, which also included eight MPs from the region, drew the ire of the Cord leader, who described them as “self-seekers on a joyride mission to seek handouts".

Mr Obure and Mr Maangi criticised Mr Odinga for the remarks, saying the trip had the blessing of their electorates.

Mr Maangi says that as a devolved unit, Kisii has resolved to work with the national government of the day.

“We have not stepped on anybody’s toes by doing that. For now we are still in ODM,” says Mr Maangi.