ODM leader Raila Odinga has picked his first cousin Jakoyo Midiwo for a crucial role in the Building Bridges Initiative, signaling a political comeback for the former Member of Parliament.
As the road to collect the targeted 4million signatures was launched at KICC on Wednesday, November 25, Odinga appointed Midiwo to spearhead ODM’s signature drive in the Nyanza region.
The former Gem MP has been in the political cold after he lost his seat in the 2017 General Election which was preceded by a fallout with the ODM leader.
The appointment hands a political lifeline to Midiwo to propel himself back in the regional political space.
The former ODM insider has faced financial trouble with the Kisumu County Government demanding Ksh 876,000 as rent for a house owned by the devolved unit.
In October 2020, the county government threatened to evict Midiwo alongside other politicians who are said to have rent arrears running into millions of shillings.
“Our records indicate that you have not been making payments regularly since you occupy the above premise and have accrued arrears of Ksh 876,000.
“In view of the aforesaid, you are hereby given seven working days to ensure payment is done, failure of which the tenancy will be terminated henceforth without any further reference to you,” read the letter in part.
In his defence, Midiwo denied that he owed the county the money arguing that he had not lived in the house for a long period to warrant the rent arrears.
The former MP’s appointment also suggests that he has mended his relationship with Odinga after they fell out in 2017.
During the 2017 campaigns, Midiwo exited ODM after failing to clinch the party’s nomination, losing to his competitor Elisha Odhiambo.
At the time, the former lawmaker claimed that he had won the primaries but a number of the party luminaries had colluded to kick him out of the race.
He then defied Odinga by deciding to vie for the seat as an independent candidate which he lost, ending his 15-year stint.