Mr George Mbogo Ochilo Ayacko has received a new political lifeline after being in the cold for more than a decade.
His last held a political seat as Rongo MP but was trounced by former Cabinet minister Dalmas Otieno. Mr Ayacko now is back to the comfort of mainstream politics.
His attempt last year to capture the Migori governor’s seat flopped when he lost to the incumbent Mr Okoth Obado.
Mr Ayacko, the third senator of Migori County after Dr Wilfred Machage and Mr Ben Oluoch Okello, was a Migori-based lawyer before he ventured into politics in the mid-90s.
Born in 1968, the soft-spoken politician served as Rongo MP between 1997 and 2007. He served as a Cabinet minister in president Mwai Kibaki's grand coalition government.
Mr Ayacko served in two dockets: Gender, Sports and Culture, and Ministry of Energy.
The University of Nairobi-educated lawyer has been training his eyes on elective politics to the extent of turning down a recent appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta as an envoy.
“I want to serve my people in Migori County in an elective position. I, however, thank the President for the honour and respect,” Mr Ayacko said when he rejected the appointment.
During his time in Rongo politics, Mr Ayacko engaged Mr Otieno in epic political battles and managed to floor him despite Mr Otieno being a powerful minister then in the retired President Moi’s administration.
The latest victory is very sweet, both to Mr Ayacko and his supporters.
“His position as a senator will enable him to strengthen his networks ahead of the 2022 General Election when he is expected to vie for the governorship. And since Mr Obado will be retiring then, he will be the remaining favourite for the seat unless he performs dismally in the Senate,” said Mr Philip Okello, a local political analyst.
Handlers of Mr Ayacko told the Nation that it is true the Senate will be a springboard for their man.
“We will use this opportunity to keep Mr Obado busy and point out ills in his administration. We will then campaign in 2022 on the platform of those ills…Mr Ayacko’s hand is already full with issues to deal with in Migori,” said one of his aides.
Both Mr Ayacko and Suna East MP Junet Mohamed have been close friends for the last 15 years and the later was very conspicuous in his attempts to stop Mr Obado from getting the ODM ticket in the last primaries.
And this explains the rivalry between the governor and the ODM director of elections.
Sources indicate that both Mr Ayacko and Mr Junet could be working on a line-up for 2022 although details are still scanty.
The MP, sources intimated, is thinking of coming back to county politics to pair up with Mr Ayacko on the governorship, a situation that Mr Obado’s supporters might not want to happen.
But Mr Junet is keeping his cards very close to his chest, not letting his interests known to his his friends and foes at this time.
Other sources revealed that Mr Otieno, a member of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission could also be making a comeback in 2022 for the governor’s seat.
But the interests of Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga in all these schemes may carry the day since he remains the undisputed kingpin in the region, as reaffirmed by the Senate results.
Mr Ayacko said he was happy “with the honour voters bestowed on him and promised to deliver to their expectations.”
“The message you sent to this Nation is loud and clear. ODM is a party that cannot be wished away…it cannot be dismissed. There is a reason why we have survived three general elections, and you have also made it clear that the time to hold political leadership accountable is now,” he told the Migori voters.
Mr Ayacko’s main challenger, 27-year-old Eddy Oketch, also posted an impressive performance in the mini polls, showing he is a politician to keep an eye on in future contests.
These new developments have occurred at a time when Mr Obado is still languishing at the Industrial Area remand prison over the murder of Rongo University student Sharon Otieno.
Mr Obado backed Mr Oketch in the contest.