President-Elect Uhuru Kenyatta who won the October 26 repeat presidential election that was largely boycotted by supporters of the Opposition, means nothing in some parts of Nyanza.
If you ask them, they only know of one President -Jakom, a luo nickname given to National Super Alliance chief Raila Odinga.
“He’s our messiah,” the Nation quotes Gordon Ochieng’ who had occupied a seat in the back row of a church in Nyalenda slum in Kisumu.
The lakeside city was ground zero of violent Opposition protests against last week’s heavily contended presidential repeat election which was ordered by the Supreme Court after it overturned the Uhuru-won August poll by a majority vote: Four to two. One judge was taken ill.
Since the August polls, and even weeks prior to it, Kisumu and neighbouring counties played a crucial role in the mass protests led by veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga who was vying to be the fifth President of Kenya.
The politician enjoys a huge following (over six million voted for him in August) and had urged his followers to a boycott the repeat poll, a call that was observed by many.
“Here, Mr Odinga’s word can be law”, Francis Omondi – a Reverend – said.
Better known as “Baba”, Odinga was born in Maseno, a town near Kisumu, the regional capital, where he still has an interest. Zipo.co.ke has reported previously of a huge property, his State House, perched on a hill overlooking the city which sits on the northern shores of Lake Victoria.
On election day, voting never took place in four Western Kenya counties including Siaya, Homa Bay and Migori after Odinga asked his supporters to boycott the polls. They barricaded the roads to block IEBC from taking polling materials to the counties as well as threatening local poll officials with death threats.
Polling staff failed to show up for fear of retaliation even as protesters made roads impassable and in one instance welding the gates of a polling station shut.
“We don’t care that he has been declared President. Why would we care, we did not vote,” shrugged 24-year-old timber yard worker Alex Onyango, Nation reports. “Our president is Baba,” noded Robert Okello, 28.
According to locals, the Luos have been cheated numerously out of the presidency, and it’s “Raila” who will save them.