BY JEFF OTIENO–Kisumu, Kenya
Pressure is mounting for Nairobi based Tycoon who is also a Financial Director with the National Security Intelligence Service (N.S.I.S) Sam Wakianga to join the race for the Kisumu County Governor in this year’s elections.
Under the banner Nyanza Professional caucus the group through their spokesman Hezbon Omollo who is a financial expert said that Kisumu being cosmopolitan just like Nairobi County needs a person with sound managerial acumen to tap and control the economy of the city which is fast witnessing a population bulge worth addressing.
“With International Airport now in place potential investors are now destined to Kisumu no wonder we have housing crisis,” Omollo argued.
“Integrity and individual track record will be key and not patronage and sycophancy,” he continued. Kisumu County is home to six constituencies namely Nyando, Muhoroni, Kisumu Rural, Kisumu East, Kisumu West and Nyakach.
We need good roads and the revival of some of the industries for our children to get employed and whoever will be able to do that will be our hero,” he quipped. For starters Wakiaga is a shrewd businessman with interests worth Billions of Shillings entrenched in marine, oil, Real Estates and Aviation sectors in major cities like Nairobi, Kisumu, and Mombasa.
In 2007 elections he made a debut plunge to unseat immigration minister Otieno Kajwang for Mbita in the O.D.M. primaries but was prevailed upon by the party top hierarchy to withdraw his quest in favour of the incumbent MP to the chagrin of his fanatical followers.
Since then he has gone limbo politically but could be seen active in various fundraising activities in the region. If he is to succumb to pressure to join the race then the battle appears murky for his rivals due to his financial muscle, development track record, and his polished nature when dealing with both the down trodden and the mighty.
He will however need to work over time to battle it out with wealthy and youthful Mumias Sugar Sales Director Peter Hongo who is a native from Kogony Clan and who is further credited for impressive development track record in the region.
Simon Ogendo who is an Insurance Executive is also a man to watch. The London based Insurance Guru has for the last 6 months embarked on a very abrasive campaign onslaught and if won’t run out of steam then the sky seems to be the limit for the down to earth Ogendo.
Other prominent names being dropped are those of Tom Onyango Alila who is the Football Kenya Federation, Nyanza Representative, youthful London trained medic cum hotel tycoon Dr. Hezron Makombewa, Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s sister Ruth Odinga, former powerful Provincial Commissioner, Peter Raburu, Jack Ranguma and former Minister Ojwang Kombudo.
Alila is a native of of Homa Bay County just like wakiaga but has entrenched roots in Kisumu from childhood todate. He is known for having recently gone to Zurich Fifa Headquarters and convinced Fifa President Sep Blatter to refurbish the dilapidated Kisumu Moi Stadium to the tune of staggering millions. In terms of mobilization he shouldn’t be underrated by any rival.
Dr. Hezron Makobewa is by all fairness ago getter and likes playing his crucial cards under the table. Top operative as he’s commonly referred to by his admirers hails from Wangaya-Kano in Nyando District. According to his loyal protégés he has accomplished his campaign strategy with a vibrant secretariat to be unveiled soon.
Ruth Odinga is currently the C.E.O. Spectra International. Ruth has opted for an approach which appears like door to door and enjoys fanatical following from women and across section of youths. Very industrious but abit temperamental when rubbed the wrong way.
Former powerful Provincial Commissioner Peter Raburu is said to have finalized his campaign machinery and will soon unleash his arsenals. The born again Raburu hails from Kano Kobura and is very respected having created small administrative units during his tenure. Though not outgoing according to political pundits, he’s a true mobilize to contend with in any duel.
Jack Ranguma is also in the fray of things. The former Commissioner with K.R.A also hails from Kano Kobura, he will have to work overtime to stamp out the ivory tower stigma in him if he’s to sail through.
His campaign style is elitist according to those who have dealt with him closely and may be injurious to his quest. According to his close allies it will just be a daunting task if he doesn’t shelve that “Trademark”.
And crowning the list of hopefuls is a one time Kisumu Town Clerk and Minister Ojwang Kombudo moneyed Kombudo hails from Nyakach Constituency and is banking on his rare unrivalled performance during his tenure as a Town Clerk.
He’s endowed with high degree of business acumen but some of his critics argue that time is up for him since he is almost 80 years to propel such a gigantic task.