NATION AGENDA: Crowded Kisii woman rep race attracts ODM nominated senator


Ms Ongera wants to unseat Ms Mary Otara who has shown intentions of defecting to Jubilee.

The crowded race for the Kisii woman rep seat has been complicated with the sudden entry of Orange Democratic Movement Nominated Senator Janet Ongera.

Ms Ongera wants to unseat Ms Mary Otara who has shown intentions of defecting to Jubilee.

Ms Otara accuses Governor James Ongwae of sidelining her in party activities, including meetings attended by ODM chief Raila Odinga.

“They were scheming to rob me the ticket,” she said Friday.

“Whenever ODM holds meetings in Kisii, I am never informed.”

Ms Otara added that she had mastered the rules of the political game and missing a party ticket “will not be a big deal”.

“I have always been faithful to the party that sponsored me to Parliament but even if it decides to work against me, I understand it is politics,” she said.

If she joins Jubilee, Ms Otara would fight it out at the primaries with Ms Bridgit Ombati.

Other contestants for the woman rep seat are Pamela Osiemo, Ms Norah Nyamwamu, Ms Vicky Onderi, Ms Rebbeca Akemo, Ms Isabelle Mose, Ms Ann Masenge, Ms Judy Miruka Ms Jane Njagi Matoke, a lawyer.

Ms Ombati said she would be campaigning on a platform of fair distribution of resources.

She said Ms Otara had not been felt on the ground since she was elected in 2013.

The incumbent, however, dismissed the claims.

“Who does not know that we fought in court for funds? One cannot do much without the kitty,” Ms Otara said, adding that more needed to be done to improve the welfare of women and young people.

Ms Otara is a member of Public Investments Committee, Kenya Women Parliamentarian Association and the Social and Culture Committee.

In 2013, Ms Otara garnered 115,844 votes against Ms Ombati’s 64,605. The latter ran on a People’s Democratic Party ticket.

A source close to the woman rep said it was only a matter of days before she confirms her Jubilee membership.

There has been speculation that Ms Otara had already paid her nomination and life member fees to the party.

Her continued absence from ODM meetings fed rumours of her plans to ditch the opposition.

There had been fears within the party that Mr Ongwae could influence who gets ODM tickets, an accusation the governor denies.

“The party has procedures which have to be followed. Every aspirant will have a fair chance during the nominations,” he said.

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