Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga is duping Western Kenya with three cabinet positions in a bid to ring-fence the region from Deputy President Dr. William Ruto who has made serious inroads.
Odinga is now promising the region three slots in the Cabinet and the National Assembly Majority Leader’s position in attempts to regain his support in the five counties.
The ODM is eyeing the region’s two million votes which are up for grabs to secure a win in the August polls as he makes fifth attempt at presidency.He has hinted that he will also consider them for principal secretaries, chief administrative secretaries, ambassadorial jobs and parastatal board chairpersons.
The former Prime Minister whose campaign message is heavy on amending the constitution to expand the executive has not pledged to initiate development projects in the region like his rival Dr. Ruto.
The deputy president who is flying the Kenya Kwanza presidential flag has promised to initiate mega development projects in the five counties of Busia, Kakamega, Bungoma, Vihiga and Trans Nzoia and 30% stake in government.
While naming Martha Karua as his running mate, Mr. Odinga announced the he will nominate the outgoing Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya as the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary.
He had also promised to nominate former National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende as the Senate speaker and retain Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa.
But Dr Ruto has offered Mr Mudavadi the position of Chief Cabinet Secretary on top of the 30% stake of the government and other key appointments to tap on the region’s talents in building Kenya.
Odinga’s deal is contained in a Memorandum of Understanding he signed with the DAP-K, a Wamalwa led party which has failed to counter ANC and Ford-Kenya in the region.
The desperation to regain his influence in Western saw ODM withdrawing its gubernatorial aspirants in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia in favour of DAP-K’s Wycliffe Wangamati and George Natembeya, respectively.
In Kakamega, ODM forced DAP-K’s Lugari MP Ayub Savula to drop his gubernatorial quest to deputize ODM’s Fernandez Barasa. Both Savula and Barasa are tainted with allegations of theft and looting of public funds.
“Given the importance of fielding candidates that stand a high chance of winning in their respective seats, parties have evaluated their respective candidates, consulted, negotiated and agreed to complement each other by fielding the strongest candidates from either of the coalition partners and supporting each other’s candidates,” MoU read in part.