Migori Senator Wilfred Machage has told the Orange Democratic Movement leadership not to take the Kuria community’s support for a ride.
He said although he was still in the Orange party, “I am not married to it”.
“We have many options as [the] Kuria community and our votes are in high demand. We need respect and recognition from our Luo brothers so that we co-exist peacefully,” Dr Machage said by phone on Wednesday.
“We voted for ODM in the last elections but nobody seems to appreciate that. Instead, I am heckled whenever I address meetings in Luoland ... we are not going to be taken for a ride,” he said.
The senator’s outburst comes as a rebellion brews in the opposition party, with several top officials resigning and others showing signs of following suit.
“For now I am still in ODM, but I have many options if my support is not being taken seriously,” he warned.
AVOIDING ODM EVENTS
Since last year, the senator has been avoiding the party’s activities, raising queries about his next step in the next elections.
Last week, Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang’ declared himself the acting Migori senator, accusing Dr Machage of dormancy.
“I will be the new acting senator of Migori County until you elect a new one,” he said at the Migori stadium during a homecoming party for Suna East MP Junet Mohamed attended by Cord leader Raila Odinga, two governors and several senators and MPs.
Mr Mohamed had kicked off the storm when he cheekily asked, “Where is Dr Machage to address us”, after noticing that he was absent.
The crowd cheered Mr Kajwang’ when he stepped forward to declare himself the acting Migori senator.
“Since I am a good neighbour, I will wear the shoes for some time,” he said.
SENATE SEAT DOUBTS
Sources have indicated that Dr Machage has doubts about retaining his Senate seat and may instead be thinking about running for the Kuria West parliamentary seat, which he previously held for 10 years.
The parliamentary seat is currently held by Mathias Robi of URP.
Dr Machage clinched the Senate seat after Mr Odinga prevailed upon his rivals to let him vie on an ODM ticket in a political deal in the run-up to the last elections.
The senator has been vocal about equal distribution of political positions and resources.
Among the politicians who have declared their interest in the Senate seat is former Migori MP Charles Owino Likowa.