Chaos erupted during a funeral in Homa-Bay town constituency after supporters of ODM party candidates clashed with those of independent candidates.
The political showdown pitted mainly the supporters of Homa Bay County Woman Rep Gladys Wanga against those of former Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero who are both vying for Homa-Bay gubernatorial seat.
Cheering and jeering from the crowds rented the air each time a politician took to the podium during the burial of Lynette Akinyi, the stepmother of the local Member of Parliament Peter Kaluma.
Among the speakers was Homa-Bay Senator Moses Kajwang, ODM nominee for the County Woman Representative Joyce Osogo and Kwabwai Member of County Assembly (MCA) Richard Ogindo.
Their efforts to push for ODM six-piece voting were met with jeers and heckling from a section of the crowd supportive of Dr Kidero who is running as an independent candidate against ODM party’s Gladys Wanga.
Wanga was not present during the Sunday funeral at Ndiru village, Homa-Bay East Ward.
However, the same scenario was repeated when Kidero rose to speak, this time with youths allied to ODM candidates interrupting his speech and heckling him. His allies former nominated MCA Jared Kajomo and Homa Bay Central MCA Julius Nyambok also faced hostilities as they were addressing mourners.
As the situation degenerated, some youths engaged in fist fights, kicks and blows at the dais.
Kaluma stepped in and pleaded with the noisy youths to keep calm and allow him give his step mother a decent send off.
“You came to help me mourn my mother and I don’t see any reason why we should fight. We should not spoil this ceremony because of politics,” Kaluma pleaded with the agitated youth.
KANU’s Senatorial candidate Tom Ojanga fueled the situation further when he told Kajwang to stop hoodwinking residents with six-piece voting style when many residents were still languishing in poverty.
Ojanga argued that residents have not seen any benefit of six-piece voting pattern and therefore they should not be coerced to repeat the same in 2022. He declared his support for Kidero.
“You can’t push us to vote six-piece when we know that Homa Bay is in tartars. We will not elect you again to continue sleeping on the job,” Ojanga said.
The KANU candidate told ODM politicians in Homa Bay to stop undermining them, adding that they are part of Azimio-One Kenya Coalition party.
“I want to remind you that we are equal partners since we all support Raila Odinga for president. You should no longer be talking about six-piece,” he added.
Ogindo accused Kidero of turning the funeral into his political rally. He claimed that Kidero hired goons to come and heckle them in the funeral.
The Kwabwai MCA told Kidero to prepare to receive a resounding defeat from the hands of Wanga, the outgoing County Women Representative.
“Homa Bay is an ODM zone and we’ll not give room to independent candidates like Kidero to win. We also have the right and authority to sell ODM and its agenda here,” Ogindo said.
Kajomo claimed that ODM was facing rebellion in Homa Bay because of mismanagement.
“ODM must accept that six-piece is no longer selling in Homa Bay. They mishandled party nominations to serve few individual interests,” Kajomo said.
Kidero told voters to elect someone with capacity to build factories, markets for women and improve roads. “I qualify to transform the lives of Homa Bay people,” he said.
Kajwang urged residents to vote for ODM candidates. He claimed that those who went to independent after the party primaries are bitter because they were defeated.
He called for tolerance and peaceful campaigns.