Orange Democratic Movement party chairman John Mbadi has sparked a storm in Nyanza, accusing four local governors of having failed to deliver development to their people.
In a statement likely to create an uproar from the county bosses, Mr Mbadi termed the performance of Governors Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu), Zachary Obado (Migori), Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay) and Mr Cornel Rasanga (Siaya) as “embarrassing to say the least”.
Speaking at the burial of Kefa Tuju, the brother of Cabinet Secretary without portfolio Mr Raphael Tuju in Rarieda, he asked residents to replace the so-called technocrats with seasoned politicians and reformers in 2022.
He spoke to an audience largely composed of locals and several MPs and senators. None of the governors were in attendance. The remarks from the MP, who also harbours an ambition to be Governor of Homa Bay, could put the county bosses on the defensive.
The funeral was attended by Senate minority leader Mr James Orengo, MPs Otiende Amollo (Rarieda), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), and Gideon Ochanda (Bondo) as well as Jubilee party vice chairman David Murathe and former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth.
Mr Mbadi did not table evidence but accused the county bosses of using their time in office to amass wealth through pilferage of public funds.
Of the four governors, only Prof Nyong’o is serving his first term, having defeated incumbent Jack Ranguma. In November, a survey by TIFA (Trends and Insights for Africa) Research polled Nyong’o as the best performing governor nationally, even though he only scored 56 points, a C+.
All the four governors passed through controversial party primaries that left in their wake disgruntled opponents in Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay and Migori. Main rivals went ahead to contest as independent candidates. In fact, in Homa Bay, an independent candidate (Oyugi Magwanga) won the court petition in the High Court and the Court of Appeal, and Mr Awiti is only in office because the Supreme Court is yet to decide his fate.
He said there were people who have walked the journey with ODM leader Mr Odinga for years, and some have been imprisoned during the struggle for reforms and therefore understand the plight of the people and the urge for development.