Controversial Alego Usonga lawmaker Samuel Atandi could face tough hurdles defending his seat in the next general elections following unimpressive development track record.
Local ODM party officials project that the vocal parliamentarian could lose his seat to vibrant newcomers in the race who are already crisscrossing the constituency with development promises.
The fact that the constituency is perceived to be jinxed and no MP has so far been deemed fit to serve for two consecutive terms is another matter which is causing the incumbent’s team sleepless nights.
The constituency in Siaya county with six wards has never re-elected an MP since the inception of multiparty politics.
For starters, former political detainee Otieno Mak’Onyango maneuvered his political path to become the maiden area MP under multipartism on a Ford-Kenya party ticket.
Strategist crowd puller and gifted orator Oloo Aringo would later make a return in 1997 on a National Development Party ticket, spoiling the matter for Mak’Onyango.
Aringo did not survive the political wave staged by then youthful flamboyant businessman Sammy Weya who ousted the seasoned politician on a National Rainbow Coalition Party ticket.
Come 2007, Weya was totally unable to survive the political storm following the entry of filthy rich Mombasa based business guru Edwin Yinda who clinched the ODM ticket, reducing Weya to a one-term MP just like his predecessors.
But again, Yinda was licked out in 2013 by Wiper Democratic Party’s Omondi Muluan who was later ousted by incumbent Atandi in 2017 elections.
The only difference is that Alego Usonga voters have remained regretful since the exit of Yinda given how he exhibited development oriented style of politics devoid of theatrics as opposed to his successors.
After failing to recapture the seat for a second term, Yinda touted as one of the richest people in Nyanza has been targeted for plum state jobs and in the latest move, he was chosen to chair the Kenya Postal Corporation board.
It was in the same breath that Uhuru Kenyatta also appointed former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma as the chairman of the Privatisation Commission while former Nyatike MP Edick Anyanga was appointed to the Agricultural Finance Corporation.
Recently, Yinda who is running his vast business empire which he operates from Mombasa dismissed pressure from a section of voters, professionals and politicians from Siaya county advancing an idea that he was the best replacement for Senator James Orengo.
“I’m completely done with politics and I have no interest at all,” he bluntly rejected calls to contest Siaya senatorial seat in 2022 general elections.
Back to Atandi’s tribulations in Alego Usonga, there is a strong feeling among voters that the incumbent has failed to translate the political environment courtesy of the handshake into any meaningful development in the constituency.
His critics paint him as an individual who has focused energy on the Siaya gubernatorial succession politics at the expense of development while his peers in the county are initiating landmark projects in their respective constituency.
Notably, Otiende Amollo’s Rarieda constituency recently saw the launch of the construction of Mahaya Technical Training Institute, a project that was boldly presided over by the Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju courtesy of the handshake between Uhuru and Raila Odinga.
A similar multimillion shilling project was recently launched in the neigbouring Ugunja constituency courtesy of handshake.
Understandably, Wandayi made a direct reference to Atandi and his team perceived to be fronting Senator Orengo in a Siaya gubernatorial race in which Wandayi is also a potential aspirant.
It is against this background that Atandi is reported to be increasingly losing popularity in favour of one Martin Otieno alias Mjesh with political analysts speaking in chorus that the newcomer’s vision sharply connects with the voters.
Pundits say Mjesh who made millions of shillings from his strong network in construction world is an outright frontrunner in a race that has also attracted former gubernatorial aspirant William Oduol.
But voters are still skeptical of Oduol after he failed party loyalty test in 2013 when he defied Raila and jumped to less popular party National Agenda of Kenya in Siaya gubernatorial race against the incumbent Cornel Rasanga.
The move resulted into great ripple effects that saw him make colourless comeback in 2017 in which he was defeated before Uhuru appointed him as the director of Lake Victoria South Water Services Board.
When he recently swallowed his pride and announced that he was ready to come down to constituency politics, Oduol said he would use his new position to influence the supply of water, an erratic commodity in Alego Usonga.
Atandi is faced with tough balancing act given that he has been at logger heads with the local police over cases of assault and this may come to haunt him during campaigns ahead of 2022 general elections.
He has pending cases after allegedly sending youths to attack nominated MCA Winnie Otieno damaging her car.
The MP is also on the spot for assaulting Modester Anyuor, a ministry of Education official in Siaya.