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On 8 December 2022 an election among several postponed by IEBC during the General Elections was staged in South Gem Ward.

Few people remember that in a cataclysmic turn of events lasting only hours lives were lost and property damaged as for the first time the Orange Democratic Movement ODM Party came face to face with the reality that it had lost popularity in its bastion of Siaya County.

The defeat was more poignant as it occurred in party leader Raila Amollo Odinga’s backyard of Siaya and the campaign for the ODM Party candidate had been fronted by none other than incoming Governor James Aggrey Bob Orengo.

Independent candidate Brian Anyango Obiero (Otuom Polo) garnered 3,469 votes against Wanga Polycarp Otieno of ODM Party who returned 3,353 at the ballot box.

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At Kambare Polling Station the voting exercise was disrupted stopped when goons allegedly brought in from Kisumu by an elder brother to Polycarp Wanga who is an official in the Kisumu County Government attacked voters. What was supposed to be an exercise of hired goons beating peaceful, unarmed voters turned into a nightmare when the public turned against the goons, overwhelmed them and gave them a thorough beating.

By the time the law enforcement came in the goons were subdued and two of them succumbed to the merciless beating. 

It was a sad political lesson for Siaya politicians and a powerful statement from the electorate that they can resolve matters forcefully if their will is subverted.

Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo Akuba who is said to have bankrolled Brian Anyango Obiero still remembers the day with remorse.

One of the victims who was stabbed in the melee Mr. Michael Nyawade recounts: “I was in the entourage of Brian on that day. The goons chased us all the way to Luanda Police Station where we sought refuge. For some reason the policemen were unsure of why we were being chased into the station and they just watched as we were attacked by the goons. Fortunately the people stood with Brian and we were rescued from the station by the public.”

Mike has several stitches on his chest to show for the attack by Kisumu-hired goons.

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