Political fireworks loom from the horizon in Homa Bay county after former Karachuonyo MP James Rege dismissed reports of a possible partnership with former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero in the race to succeed Governor Cyprian Awiti.
The two are likely to go solo contrary to the earlier expectations by a section of voters and observers whose imaginations were lit by a series of social media photos showing Rege and Kidero together. However, Weekly Citizen has information that the two are talking and Rege may go for senatorship in a power-sharing and balancing act.
“That was just lunch! I can’t be his deputy and he can also not be my deputy, that’s it,’’ Rege said when pressured to explain his political friendship with Kidero. Interestingly, the two have in the recent past become active on their respective social media pages where a number of voters have offered them encouragement to take over from Awiti and redeem the face of the corruption-ridden county.
Talk of Kidero and Rege political plans have triggered an earthquake in Homa Bay and earlier entrants have been forced back to the drawing board even as they are said to be crying foul confessing it would not be an easy ride for them with the two in the race. Other notable faces in the Homa Bay gubernatorial race are Sam Wakiaga, women representative Gladys Wanga, ODM chairman John Mbadi, former Kasipul MP Oyugi Mwagwanga, who petitioned the re-election of the incumbent and Kuppet secretary-general Akello Misori. Whereas dealing with corruption in the county appears to be the common denominator among the aspirants, Misori fashions himself as the best positioned to improve education in the county given his experience in the sector.
However, a section of analysts observes that Rege has the handshake deal between Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga as a political blessing. Previously, he faced hostility at his own Karachuonyo backyard and in the entire Nyanza region after he emerged as the first notable politician from the region to associate with Jubilee administration at the height of the 2017 electioneering period when Raila would not hesitate to destroy anyone who dared to stand with the government. His action saw him make a resolve not to seek a third term as the Karachuonyo MP but to work with the Jubilee administration where he landed a position as the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company.
Keen observers have pointed out that Rege and Kidero would be a perfect combination with the exit of Governor Awiti looming in 2022 after a controversial second term. The two leaders according to pundits can perfectly strike a balance with a host of other leaders including outgoing Migori governor Okoth Obado, Wakiaga, Magwanga and others to consolidate the unity of the region. Weekly Citizen has, however, established that a number of aspirants in Homabay gubernatorial race were badly disappointed when the EACC absolved Rege of any wrongdoing in the Kemsa scandal. The Twalib Mbarak-headed commission clarified that the politician was only asked to confirm that his company financed an entity called Duke which got some tenders at Kemsa, adding there was no indication of wrongdoing since he was not a signatory of the said company.