Which way Homabay?
Homabay is county no. 43. It borders Migori and Kericho counties away from the lakeside. Homabay town, the largest town in the county, largely borders Lake Victoria and can qualify to be termed a lakefront town. The region is slightly warmer most times of the year but the place is generally splendid.
Governor Cyprian Awiti has been at the helm of Homabay county for the past 10 years. That means he is winding up his second term in office and constitutionally he is ineligible to stand for election to the same office of the governorship this year.
Awiti, if we can jog our minds, is the governor who has been used in a lot of memes to boisterously build him up as the geek. The guy who simply lives his life in all ways. The guy who always survives even those tsunamis that seemed sure to destroy him.
He has always juggled the landscape that many couldn’t manage and as such, eloped with part of the county’s destiny. Has he done the much his electorate could have expected of him? The answers to this question will ever be dependent on which side of the coin one sees. Some will flip it and it turns the head, some the tail, and a small percentage will choose to see the edge.
The exit of Cyprian Awiti has attracted big contenders for the office of the governorship of Homabay county. The key contestants so far are Gladys Wanga who is the current women representative for Homabay county, Oyugi Magwanga who is the former member of parliament for Kasipul Kabondo, and Evans Kidero who was Nairobi county’s first governor amid many others eyeing the top seat.
However, the two front runners in the race can be pinned on Gladys Wanga and Evans Kidero. Since losing his seat in the Capital Nairobi, Kidero rebranded himself by retreating into his home county where he has been trying to position himself strongly for the top county boss position.
Although he has missed in action in active politics nationally for some time now, he has been gradually doubling his efforts in Homabay county in a bid to strengthen his presence in a place where despite being his home, he could be viewed as a political scavenger.
Gladys Wanga on the other hand has great support from the region having cut herself the image of a fearless woman who is ardent in representing her people. She is described as a woman whose promise in word gets followed by honor in action.
Having been politically shaped by Homabay county since her election as the women representative in 2013, she now enjoys the grass-root support as she is seen to characterize the messianic persona of one with us. No wonder she has been described as the favorite for the Homabay electorate.
But as you could be aware, politics is a game whose playtime is till the last whistle is blown. Kidero is a man with a lot of strategic knowledge and who has been able to cling to the ever hotly and more versatile Nairobi governorship in 2013. He has great managerial skills gained during his time as the head of Mumias Sugar Company and let us not miss the fact that the guy has the resource muscle to put up a hostile campaign for that top seat.
It is well known that the whole Nyanza region has not had any female governor since 2013. According to many, maybe it is time the region tried its women especially those that have proved themselves in the male-dominated political arena.
One of those ladies is Gladys Wanga. The woman who without a second thought can put up a fight to ensure nobody tramples on jakom – Raila Odinga. Sometimes she goes a notch higher to fight for him more than even some other men dare do.
The dynamics change a little though when you realize that Kidero is a trusted ally of Raila Odinga and Gladys can be described as a close confidant of Ida Odinga as well. And the fact that both of these contenders are eying the ODM ticket means that the primaries will be the live or die determinant.
Yet nothing is impossible. A trade-off perhaps could be forged. The fact that both of these contenders are closely associated with the Odinga’s means it is never impossible for Wanga to deputize Kidero as that is the closest it can ever get with the two working together.
Otherwise, it is possible that whoever loses in the primaries will go independent, although by then it is as though the death die could have been cast on one of them lightly. It is also possible for one of them to let go after the primaries which is highly unlikely. For now, the momentous eldership credence in me points to the winner with the ODM ticket. Will it be Wanga or Kidero who will win the ticket?
The primaries will determine, yet still tough, a boardroom alliance could set things straight. Maybe the ticket will be handed out without a fight. With time, we will see what comes of this development. Probably Wanga will be the first female governor from Nyanza or Kidero will be the first governor to head two different counties at two different moments in time epitomizing the proverbial cat with nine lives.