39-yr old Ugenya MP-elect David Ochieng’ has explained how he managed to floor ODM Party and clinch the fiercely contested seat.
He garnered 18,730 votes against Chris Karan, the ODM candidate’s 14,507 in the four-man race, making history as the first ever candidate to win the seat in a party not associated with the Odinga family, something that has left many convinced that voters are moving away from ‘party politics’.
He has distanced himself from claims that his Friday win was greatly influenced and financed by the Deputy Principal, William Ruto.
Ochieng explained that voters had confidence in him following his development track record in Ugenya and did not campaign during the by-election as a candidate against Raila and his ODM Party.
The law-maker who traversed the constituency low-profiled at times with a bicycle used the door-to-door technique to lure voters.
He confessed to having had a hard time running his campaigns, only to be helped by friends.
“There are guys who could send me Sh2,000, Sh5,000 at times Sh20,000. My lawyer friends and those we worked with at Igad also came in handy. There were days we could spend upTo Sh1 million in a day,” he said
He added that what led the people of Ugenya to cast majority of their votes in his favor was the positive touch he built with the constituents as a young university graduate.
He used to take loans to buy 80 tonnes of maize seed every year for residents to plant. He later used maize as the symbol of his party, the Movement for Democracy and Growth (MDG).
Ochieng’ also attributed his victory to the commitment of women voters in the area, whom he said are more consistent than men.
During his first term as MP, Ochieng’ successfully built three colleges:
- Ugenya Teachers Training College
- Ugenya KMTC and
- Ugenya Vocational Training College.
He was also showered with praises not only for spear-heading the tarmacking of the Ugunja-Rwambwa road but also for a full-scholarship programme he initiated to help KCPE exam high performers in Ugenya.
Ochieng’ revealed that his campaign was made easier as his competitor had done nothing tangible in the 16 months he was in office.
He however refuted allegations that he has scores to settle with ODM Party leader Raila Odinga.
“I have no issue with Raila. There is no bad blood between him and myself. I respect him. “My relationship with Raila is okay as it is. If it were not for his democratic ideals, I would not have been elected on MDG.”
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