Independent candidates contesting for various seats during this year’s general elections are out to ensure political parties do not take their members for a ride, elders in Bondo constituency have said.
Led by Mr. Otoyo Chiambe, the elders lamented that unquestioned loyalty to political parties has made some leaders to believe that the ordinary citizens could not make a choice of the leadership they want.
Speaking at Migwena cultural and sports grounds in South Sakwa location when an independent candidate vying for Bondo parliamentary seat, John Andiwo Mwai launched his campaigns, the elders said political parties risked being rendered irrelevant if they are allowed to continue perpetuating malpractices that see losers declared winners and party flag bearers.
Chiambe who is also a Bondo businessman urged the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) to stop viewing independent candidates in its strongholds as enemies, adding that they should instead be considered as partners out to offer positive challenge.
Some of our leaders brand others as Jubilee moles whenever they are questioned to explain their achievements yet we know that they are the ones who are always seeking favour from State House, he said adding that the voters were in a renaissance and out to take back the powers bestowed on them by the constitution, that of electing leaders of their choice.
He called on the electorate not to fall prey to calls for the six piece voting pattern, saying that this will deny the country quality leadership.
It is the parliament that provided for independent candidates after realising that some fishy deals within the parties will muzzle the electorate, he said adding that the voters will therefore not be making mistakes to vote for those contesting outside political parties.
However, when it comes to the presidency, the vote should go to NASA presidential candidate, Raila Odinga but for the rest, it’s your discretion. Vote in people who are closer to the electorate and those with proven development track record, he said.
Addressing the ceremony , Mwai decried the high poverty levels in Bondo constituency despite it bordering the largest water body in Africa, Lake Victoria.
Mwai said that successive elected leadership in the area had, in the past, not been keen on programmes that will uplift the economic standards of the people but concentrated a lot on politicking.
Mwai, a businessman with vast interests in transport, hospitality and real estate pledged to support irrigation programmes and strengthen fishing programmes along Lake Victoria, address perennial water problems in the constituency and improve infrastructure.
He said that he was forced to vie for the parliamentary seat by the electorate who felt cheated by the current legislator who, he alleged, had joined forces with past leaders who had achieved nothing during their tenure.
Siaya county has seen an upsurge of independent candidates following bungled ODM nominations
Among those seeking approval of the voters are Rarieda member of parliament, Nicholas Gumbo, his Gem counterpart, Jakoyo Midiwo and Alego / Usonga legislator, Omondi Muluan.
Gumbo is vying for Siaya governorship position, currently held by Cornel Rasanga who will be defending it on an ODM ticket, Midiwo will defend his Gem parliamentary seat, same as Muluan in Alego / Usonga.
Both contested the outcome of the ODM nominations saying that they were rigged out in favour of their opponents.
Source: Kenya News Agency