Nyando MP Jared Okello during a past media briefing. [Photo/ standardmedia.co.ke]
Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang Nyong'o on Friday mandated Nyando MP Jared Okello to unite leaders in the county.
The surprise move came amid reports of disunity among leaders in the Lakeside city.
Nyong’o has been away from his office since mid-December, a situation that ignited speculations over his health, leading to wrangles among the county’s top leadership.
Just recently, Kisumu Senator Fred Outa hit out at the county’s Deputy Governor Dr Ochieng Owili, accusing him of positioning himself to take over as governor if Nyong'o's health deteriorates.
Outa went to the extent of accusing Owili of wishing death upon the county boss, as this will see him take over as governor.
Nyong’o is recovering after undergoing a surgery to replace his hip bone at a San Francisco hospital in the United States.
Outa’s accusations against Owili seem to have angered Nyong’o who termed those celebrating his illness as ‘heartless busybodies’
“While some godforsaken individuals are writing my obituary at home, I feel quite good about myself though I miss home very much. At times, this can be extremely annoying and upsetting, especially when political busybodies reduce the important matter of one’s health to platform discourse, carried out for pure self-aggrandisement, in words that are insincere, dishonest, callous and absolutely uncivilised,” said Nyong’o in an opinion piece published in a local daily.
The county boss assured his supporters that he had recovered and will be returning to the country soon.
The Governor was at some point forced to take photos and videos of him walking around and talking just to assure his supporters that he had recovered and put an end to the speculations.
The fall-out among top officials in the county government is what is said to have necessitated Nyongo’s move to request Okello to unite Kisumu leaders in a bid to ensure peace is maintained in the city.
The request has however been questioned by many who are wondering why the Governor chose to pick Okello to execute the mandate.
Some have interpreted the move as an indirect endorsement of Okello to take over from Nyong’o as Kisumu governor in 2027.
The Nyando MP and Senator Outa who both hail from the Kano clan, are the front-runners in the race to succeed Nyong’o after he serves his second term in office.
During the 2017 campaigns, Senator Outa spearheaded Nyongo’s campaign while Okello supported the then Governor Jack Ranguma who lost to Nyong’o in the August 8 polls.
Okello, who has been termed as a political schemer, almost dethroned Fred Outa as Nyando MP in 2013.
In 2017, he won the Nyando seat comfortably despite Senator Outa campaigning against him.
As leaders across the country position themselves for 2022 politics, in Kisumu, the race for 2027 is already shaping up, with Jared Okello emerging as the man to watch.
If he plays his political cards he might become the third Kisumu governor.