Barely 13 months to the 2017 general elections, the political heat wave is gaining momentum in Busia County. Already several candidates have declared their interest to dethrone the incumbent Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong
They include Funyula legislator Dr. Paul Nyongesa Otuoma, Eng. Daniel Baraza ( Former Director of National Irrigation Board), Lucas Meso ( Chairman Agricultural Finance Corporation AFC), and Vincent Sidai just to name a few.
However, looking at the following factors, Governor Ojaamong may still be the man to beat come 2017.
The Luhya – Teso Dilemma
First, most aspirants who have staged their candidature are from the Luhya communities that include Marachi, Samia and Bakhayo. Even if their number exceeds that of the Teso people, their luhya votes will be shared among these sub-tribes.
Some of these candidates may lack home support, that governor Ojaamong is enjoying in his Teso backyard. Given that the Teso community is known to vote as a block, the incumbent Governor could be guaranteed a landslide victory by getting nearly 90% of votes in his backyard and collecting small percentages from other loyal regions in the County.
The ODM (CORD) Equation
Secondly, the Governor is expected to defend his seat on the Orange Democratic Movement party ticket. The party is perceived to enjoy 90% support in Busia County. As such it will be political suicide for any other candidate to vie for a different party and the worst if it is not in Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD). This hints to you that candidates in other coalitions such as JUBILEE will have flimsy chances of wading through the
This could translate into a political suicide for any other candidate who vies for the seat on different party out of the CORD Coalition. Candidates in other coalitions such as JUBILEE have very flimsy chances of clinching the gubernatorial seat in Busia County.
Social Media Candidates
Most aspiring candidates have been seen to campaign majorly on social media platforms. This seems to have limited impact as not every voter in Busia County has access to the internet. More so, and not those pledging support through social media may not necessarily be registered voters in the county.
In this era, voters may be more interested in the candidates tangible track record traceable on the ground and not on social media. Social media is also seen as a tool for creating propaganda and may therefore not be a measure of popularity.
The Wangalwa Effect
The Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa is likely to back Ojaamong in the coming elections. If this happens then those rallying behind Wangalwa in Marachi community will be left with no option other than voting for Ojaamong’u.
Unless the luhya community forms a joint team with one candidate for the gubernatorial seat, they may as well forget about managing the County from the top most level.
What are your thoughts?