President Dr William Samoei Ruto’s first day of the 4-day visit to Nyanza has turned out to be a political blizzard.
Within a span of eight hours political fortunes were made and others irreparably damaged.
The highpoints came in Gem Mutumbu at the Homecoming ceremony for MP Elisha Odhiambo Akuba. The Master-of-ceremony had the false notion that the indubitable Eng. Nicholas Odero Gumbo can be contained. Due to public demand the crowd insisted that Gumbo address them and for the umpteenth time it was openly proven that besides Raphael Tuju, Eng. Gumbo remains the most credible politician in Siaya County, no matter which side he represents.
Eng. Gumbo, CS Eliud Owalo, PS Interior Raymond Omollo, Siaya Deputy Governor Dr William Oduol Denge all rode on Air force One (the official presidential carrier) side by side with President Dr William Samoei Ruto. While the significance of this may be lost on political upstarts the reality is that the impact will be seen in the ballot box come 2027.
Already the Rubicon has been crossed with the above team openly identifying as the liberation Young Turks of the region.
From my own surmising, the marriage between Ruto and Gachagua is undergoing a rocky phase. Should the president decide to look for cosy engagements among the populous Luo Nyanza then the team he is amassing should not be underestimated.
Gumbo and Oduol among them can defeat Orengo in a clean election, hands down. Even with Raila coming in to tilt the balance in Orengo’s favour with talk of six-piece voting pattern there’s still a stiff climb on the Orengo re-election card.
Seeing what ODM Party has gone through lately, I wouldn’t vouch for it.
Eliud Owalo, however does not enjoy the popularity and political goodwill of the Gumbo-Oduol team. He was seen as a turncoat when the Community needed him most, when Baba was firing what was believed to be his last shot.
So how did the Gumbo-Oduol team benefit with Ruto’s visit? One; political mileage will now come as they are identified with development projects in the region. Two: recognition by the head of state, either rightfully or wrongfully, is always associated with personal financial prosperity.
For Elisha Ochieng Odhiambo Akuba it was like a direct ticket for re-election. The people of Gem have always grumbled silently when the county cake was dished out subjectively. They’ve been saddled with the Woman Representative seat since the advent of devolution and never allowed near the head of the table.
If their own can rub shoulders with the Head of State, the better. At any rate Elisha’s mbii (presence) in Gem Constituency is still paramount.
President Ruto crowned the day by specifically recognizing Dr. William Oduol on his social media handles as one of the distinguished people who accompanied him today. That alone should send shivers down the spines of some people.
Again I’m just an old griot who might be wrong about the whole thing, but the precision with which we have predicted Kenyan politics over the years grant us authority status.