By Williams Owigo
I have been keenly following on social media a cabal of supporters of Migori third senator Ochillo Ayacko over his by-election win.
What has left me baffled is maligning of several county leaders over the results where the ODM candidate won and sweat over Federal Party of Kenya candidate Eddy Oketch.
Of more concern is that in a bid to start early 2022 governor campaigns, Ayacko’s supporters have taken on trolling Uriri MP Mark Nyamita over ‘poor’ performance in Uriri.
Since Oketch has opted not to challenge the results over peace and the Orange House has called for unity, I chose to put the misconception in check with these nine facts:
FACT 1: Ayacko go 40 per cent more votes than in 2017
In the 2017 gubernatorial election, Senator-elect Ochilo Ayacko got roughly 4,000 votes in the entire Uriri Constituency which translated to below 10 per cent the total voter turnout, an epitome of poor results.
In the by-election, courtesy of Nyamita, Ochilo more than doubled his vote harvest in Uriri to 8,680 (despite low turnout ) which was at least 40% of the total voter turnout. That was a huge success to Ayacko, thanks to the legislator.
FACT 2: Ayacko’s Uriri campaigners faired poorly, the results was cross cutting
It is double standard and political hypocrisy for Nyamita to be solely blamed when his foot soldiers in the constituency performed poorly.
Here are quick ones: Omondi Gwonyo, who has been vocal against his legislator at Got Korwa polling center Oketch got 345 votes against Ayacko’s 110.
Oscar Olima , who was the Campaign Manager lost Nyamage Polling Station to Eddy at 341 against Ayacko’s 278.
Another campaigner, Paul Odhiambo, failed to deliver his Piny Owacho polling station that went overwhelmingly to Eddy.
This was after Ayacko ignored best foot soldiers of Nyamita and used weak campaigners.
FACT 3: Ayacko fared badly in his strongholds
In Senator Ayacko’s stronghold of Awendo and Rongo constituencies, where he a legislator for a decade, Eddy still managed more than 12,000 votes. The fact that the candidate’s own stronghold voted against him by more than 12K votes have got nothing to do with Hon. Mark Nyamita but all to do with the candidate’s own failings and weaknesses.
FACT 4: Obado, Eddy are from same Uriri constituency
Eddy is from Kanyamkago, Kawere clan in Uriri Constituency. Governor Okoth Obado is from the same clan, Katieno sub-clan whose current predicament has left a bitter aftertaste in the mouths of the clan. It was a referendum choice between Ochilo Ayacko and Governor Okoth Obado proxy (read Eddy Muok Ratego Gicheru).
Nyamita had no control over that.
FACT 5: Despite 4 above, Ayacko performed fairly in Nyamita stronghold in Uriri
Despite Kanyamkago being a dominant clan in Uriri in other regions with other clans: Kamgundho, the second largest, Gem, Karachuonyo, Kamreri, Maragoli, Kakremba, Wagoro, Kisii, Suba (Chula – the tiniest clan where Mark Nyamita comes from.), Uyoma among many more others Ayacko performed better despite the region not voting for him in 2017.
Among those are in these polling centers: Rombe, Nyamilu, Oruba, Manyonge, Uriri Primary etc etc.
FACT 6: Hodo, stepped down in favour of Eddy throwing Maragoli votes wide
In my own estimate Ayacko lost over 90 per cent of Luhya votes not only in Uriri but also across the county after Solomon Hodo, the candidate of Luhya (Maragoli) extraction, stepped down in favour of Eddy. This was not only in Uriri, where they control a huge chunk, but across Suna East and Suna West constituencies.
FACT 7: Ayacko performed poorly in other constituencies
Ayacko beat Eddy by a mere 3,653 votes in Suna East where the moneybag Junet Mohammed- the ODM Director of Campaigns and eing a powerful Minority Whip in Parliament, hails from with Eddy getting about 8,000 votes. The same was in Suna West despite effort of three legislators: Peter Masara, Joseph Ndiege and Pamela Odhiambo.
The fact that three MPs from Suna West only managed to harvest 13,000 votes for Ochilo Ayacko, while Nyamita alone delivered more than 8,000 in hostile ground is enough.
It needs highlighting that a majority of Nyamita support base that spans the county voted for Ochilo Ayacko because of him.
FACT 8: Ayacko got stable votes in Uriri than combined Kuria area
Ayacko got 8,680 votes in Uriri with 51,000 registered voters, but a paltry 9,891 in the combined Kuria Constituencies that command more than 87,000 votes. Two Kuria MPs all together (Hon Kitayama Maisori and Hon. Dennitah Ghati) delivered less than a thousand votes on top of what Nyamita, alone, delivered.
Yet Kuria is celebrated while Uriri is vilified, talk of double standards. .
FACT 9: Nyamita personally joined Ayacko campaign in Uriri
Nyamita was personally with Ayacko in Uriri after attending his funds drive he was there when he submitted his papers at IEBC, met ODM delegates and organised ODM rally which was graced by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Nyamita accompanied the campaign caravan to all stopovers in Nyatike, Rongo, Kuria and Awendo. Engineer campaigned for the ODM candidate both in English, Kiswahili and DhoLuo.
In fact, the chairs that were used at the Migori Stadium rally were brought in from Uriri Constituency. Those that got broken were replaced at his cost. Yet after the victory is secured, he’s thrown under the bus.
It’s so unfair to Mark Nyamita.