Succession politics of Alego Usonga constituency is promising to be a complex affair to voters and the ODM family after it emerged that Siaya governor Cornell Rasanga is working on attempts to unseat Raila Odinga confidant Samwel Atandi.
The incumbent had initially trained his eyes on a youthful filthy rich local contractor Martin Otieno aka Mijesh whose emergence in politics was met by a deadly violence that left a trail of destruction following a confrontation in Siaya town between his supporters and those allied to the MP.
Sources close to Mijesh told Weekly Citizen that his camp was banking on the MP’s poor development track coupled with popular notion that voters in the constituency were not keen to end a precedent of not voting any politician for a second term, a trend that has successfully continued since multiparty politics.
But Atandi, equally a youthful though controversial politician had believed his relationship with Raila was poised to bail him at the nomination as far as ODM politics is concerned.
It is against this background that saw the MP’s camp thrown into total confusion and became jittery in reaction to development that Rasanga who is an ODM operative and notable financier is now shifting his political activities to the constituency level after the end of constitutional two terms in the office as the governor in 2022.
The bad blood that has existed between the MP and Rasanga occasioned by Siaya gubernatorial succession political has now boiled down to Alego Usonga politics with the incumbent appearing to be focusing attention on securing his seat for a second term.
Atandi is one of the MPs who have been actively crisscrossing Siaya county in an early campaign for area senator James Orengo who is angling to become the next area governor in a race that’s likely to attrack former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo and Ugunja lawmaker Opiyo Wandayi.
Rasanga and a host of MCAs from Siaya have roundly rubbished Atandi’s frontline position in marketing Orengo, branding the first time MP as too junior in the industry to command major political decision in the region.
The anti-Atandi MCAs led by Township ward Obiero Otare representative noted it was pure insult for the incumbent to fashion himself as the Alego/Usonga chief decision making organ in regional politics yet he was only a newcomer who was yet to learn the rope.
Pundits argue that possible entrance of Rasanga into Alego/Usonga duel would only compound matters for the youthful legislature whose development record is under sharp criticism from those who believe he has performed way below his predecessor George Muluan.
We could not independently confirm reports that, Muluan was planning a comeback after suffering defeat in the last general elections when he grudgingly opted to face voters as an independent candidate in protest of what he cited as fraud at the Raila led ODM party.
After sensing that the ODM party nomination was not bound to favour him,a furious Muluan warned Raila to stay away from the politics of Luo-Nyanza to avoid cases of voter apathy during the general elections.
Muluan who had popularized himself as development oriented politician was first elected on Wiper ticket during in 2013 sending home ODM heavyweight billionaire Edwin Yinda in a bitterly contested race.
He later defected to ODM but suffered a major blow and quickly jumped-ship to vie as an independent candidate when the nominations went to Atandi who has just quit his prestigious position at the National Bank Of Kenya to venture into the murky industry.
However the current political situation in Alego/Usonga is perceived to be a mirror of numerous litmus test cases for Raila in the Luo politics ahead of 2022 as it would be a matter of his confidant facing it off with one of his foot soldiers and ever loyal governors.
Mood on the ground presents a complete different scenario where voters are yawning for a politically new blood whose is development oriented and Mijesh has been on the lips of many who feel he was the best replacement as the next area MP.
While contacted the soft-spoken construction guru opted not to be dragged into the political dilemma facing the incumbent and down played talks of his political interest pointing it was too early to engage the current MP into unnecessary sideshows.
“Let us give him time to perform but let him be ready for voters’ judgment, personally I don’t want to find excuses when the right time comes,’’ Mijesh downplayed the matter.
In the meantime Atandi has embarked on new political calculations aimed at Governor Rasanga surprise invasion of Alego/Usonga through a series of clan meetings expected to produce a reliable game plan in his ambitious decision to be the next area MP.
Early political fireworks is already rearing its ugly head after Atandi went point blank and attacked Rasanga over accusations that the second time governor has been meeting his constituents with no known development agenda but to smear his name.
The MP, evidently not amused by the governor’s decision to rival him at the constituency level questioned why Rasanga was busy focusing on clan meetings instead of using the same energy for county and cabinet meetings.
“It’s unwise and foolish for an elected governor to hold clan meetings. What do you do with a clan when you have the mandate of the entire county,’’ Atandi protested.
But Rasanga reiterated by distancing himself from Alego/Usonga succession political explaining that he did not need permission from political failures like Atandi to meet members of his clan who voted him as the governor.
Pointedly he promised to deal with Atandi headon when time for politics comes, a statement seen to be confirming his entrance into the constituency race.
Word has it that Rasanga is one of the Governors who exhibited poor leadership characterized by runaway corruption (but yet to be charged) under devolution and has a zero chances of a bright political future.
It is against this background that he has opted to lower his political rank to a constituency level instead of marktiming for position of regional seat expected to be a creation of BBI, where a federal system of governance will establish regional governments in addition to the county government.