ODM floored in South Gem ward by-election

The Orange Democratic Movement, (ODM) failed to capture the South Gem ward seat in Siaya county when its candidate was trounced by an independent.

In the violently tainted election, Brian Obiero Chieng Onyango received 3,469 votes, defeating ODM candidate Polycarp Wanga by 116 votes.

Wanga received 3,353 votes, according to the returning officer, Ezekiel Juma, who declared Onyango the winner.

Speaking at the Aluor Girls Primary School Hall after being crowned the victor, Onyango, also known as Otuom Polo, praised the South Gem ward voters for refusing to yield to senior ODM party figures.

“Siaya governor, James Orengo and his Kisumu counterpart, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o did not want me but I am now the Member of the county assembly and they must accept and be ready to work with me,” he said.

ODM had run spirited campaigns under the leadership of Orengo and Nyong’o to win the seat.

Onyango described his victory as just and vowed to make sure the region experiences real growth.

Goons pelted the vehicles at Kambare on Thursday, resulting in numerous serious injuries and more than ten vehicles being damaged.

Charles Chacha, Gem Sub County Police commander, confirmed the incident and added that another car that had been stoned overturned, lost control, and rammed the stone throwers, injuring two people.

The two were taken to the Bondo sub county referral hospital, according to Chacha.

“We received reports that there were chaos at Kambare polling station and when we proceeded there, we found two groups, one from Polycarp Wanga (ODM) and another group belonging to Brian Onyango (Independent) clashing,” he said.

ODM candidate Polycarp Wanga denounced the incident and accused the police of failing to take decisive action against the thugs. Polycarp Wanga later led more than 10 vehicles damaged during the skirmishes in various parts of the ward to report the incident at Akala police station.

Wanga accused his rival of hiring thugs to cause mayhem and prevent voters, particularly the elderly, from going to the polls.

The by-elections, which were triggered by the death of an ODM candidate, Nick Wanga, just before the previous general elections, drew a total of nine candidates.

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