ODM party planning to gift James Orengo Siaya governor as a retirement benefit

As 2022 general election looms, many politicians have shown interest for Siaya county gubernatorial. Former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo, Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, Siaya senator James Orengo are among the top names that are most likely to contest on ODM party ticket

However, Orange Democratic Party seems to be preparing Orengo to succeed the incumbent governor.

The county has lugged behind in terms of development something that has been widely linked to poor leadership under the county boss, Cornell Amoth Rasanga.

Could this be a repeat of 2002? A year that Orengo learnt his lesson the hardest way. Losing both presidential and Member of Parliament positions respectively?

In as much as he boasts of sending a message in a special way, it’s clear that even if he didn’t vie for president and defended his constituency position, Rev. Stephen Ondiek would still have carried the day.

His profession aside. A county boss is tasked with running development projects in the county. A quality he doesn’t merit.

Maybe sometimes we’ve forgotten the 2007 elections when a 30 – year old Steve Mwanga made a trumpet entry into politics. We all know that Steve won party nominations. ODM rigged in favour of Orengo and, we’re also aware that even the final results did not reflect what Ugenya electorates had stood out for.

Steve Mwanga, former Ugenya MP contestant |PHOTO COURTESY|

The Nyongo party factor.

I have followed closely the early grassroots campaigns by his supporters and one thing I noticed is that the lawmaker is trying to trade on Kisumu governor Anyan’g Nyon’go’s political history and the ODM party.

Kisumu county governor Professor Anyan’g Nyon’go |PHOTO COURTESY|

First, Orengo should understand that Nyon’go did a lot more both as an MP for Kisumu rural constituency, as a health minister and as a planning minister.

As an MP, Kisumu rural constituency which despite being close to Nyanza headquarters was in total poverty, a few number of schools and hospitals.

By the end of 2012, several schools had been constructed and a lot more upgraded, over 80% of schools had been connected to electricity, Nyon’go in partnership with his friends awarded scholarships to needy students to study at various universities both locally and internationally.

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As health minister, Professor Nyongo reformed Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) from being an agency to an independent authority and funded directly directly from the treasury. He also transformed National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) from a hospital fund into National Health Insurance Fund to provide unviersal health care to Kenyans.

As planning minister, he spearhead implementation of (PRSP) Poverty Reduction Strategy Project for wealth and employment creation which the NARC government used as a blueprint.

Nyon’go is the brainchild of Kenya’s vision 2030 which aimed at moving the country to a middle income economy by 2030. A vision that has suffered under anti – development forces over the past decade.

That’s what Nyon’go had delivered and it’s what made it easy for ODM party to sell him in Kisumu.

The major question is what Orengo as an MP of Ugenya and a land minister did that is worth recommending.

Apart from the Grand Regency hotel, the land office in Siaya and digitalisation of land registration what else?

Orengo used the position as an avenue to illegally create wealth.

Not once the lawmaker was at the DCI headquarters recording statements over grabbed parcels of land.

Orengo alongside former lands commissioner Zablon Mabeya and former Nairobi mayor now Makadara MP and ODM party chairman Nairobi county George Aladwa were accused of disposition of land on Ring road, Westlands.

He was further accused of receiving Sh. 5 milion from a land that was sold for Sh. 320 milion. Orengo illigelly allocated himself land parcel Number: LR861. He was also accused of allocating and participating in irregular disposal of public land in Lamu in 2008, according to the EACC dossier.

Siaya senator James Orengo accompanied by Kakamega senator Boni Khalwale, Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi among other legislatures when he recorded statement on Lamu land saga |Video Capital FM|

It is in public domain that Orengo did absolutely nothing to recommend especially during his tenure as an MP. What the current member of parliament has delivered is worth more than what Orengo gave in 15 years. His close friends like Jakoyo Midiwo who also become a member of parliament before devolution,just like him (Orengo), and who did not make it to any ministry unlike Orengo did amazing work in Gem constituency.

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Orengo started politics way back in early 70s and become an MP in 1980,aged 29, the youngest MP in Kenya by then. At this time, most of his challengers today were in school probably primary or secondary schools.

As a resident of Siaya who has had an insight into Orengo’s development record, and who has witnessed a great county like Siaya being looted by the current regime, it’s necessary that we get someone who has Siaya at heart and not at hand.

Orengo will be worse than Rasanga who was called to power from sleep by ODM party.

We have not forgotten the Ugenya by elections, neither have we forgotten the Embakasi West where despite being branded ODM party stronghold and the party brigade camping for days to sell their candidates, the minority as they put it still won.

The electorates in Siaya have learnt from previous mistakes and I bet none will fall victim of party factor. Ideologies alongside development records minus that is a big No.

Orengo cannot have Siaya as a retirement benefit from ODM.

That’s unacceptable. Siaya is ready for visionary leader and development oriented. Not a talker like Orengo.

Peter Aowa
Peter Aowa
Peter is a journalist, Digital content provider, author and a motivational speaker Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn. Click on the icons below.

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