Fast rising Public Accounts Committee Chairman Opiyo Wandayi has come under increasing pressure to declare his interest in the coveted Siaya Gubernatorial post.
The development conscious Ugunja MP faced a barrage of calls to gun for the governorâ€™s seat during a recent whirlwind woking tour of his constituency and the region during which he avoided the topic but underscored his vision for Ugunja Constituency saying that he would not relent on his development politics.
So far the Siaya governorâ€™s seat appears to have attracted the county Senator James Orengo and former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo. But it is Wandayiâ€™s potential run that is eliciting excitement from the vast vote-rich county which is rural home to ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga.
In messages delivered at various stops during one week Christmas working tour on Siaya, Kisumu and Homa Bay Counties, the affable Wandayi emphasized that he would continue to focus on his legislative mandate which required him to deliver in representation, oversight and socio-economic development to the people of Ugunja.
â€śThe year 2019 shall be the year of a constitutional referendum, the year of tackling corruption and the year of delivering on development,â€ť repeatedly said Hon Wandayi in remarks that were widely cheered in each stop he made.
He also added that the Nyanza region must take advantage of the tranquility and working relations resulting from the Raila-Uhuru handshake to facilitate development in Nyanza.
Wandayi also condemned politicians going around the county of Siaya in premature and misplaced campaigns for fishing out leadership positions for 2022, saying the focus should be on delivery of 2017 mandate.
The Ugunja Constituency legislator attended numerous religious, cultural and social ceremonies in a week long tour that started on December 22.
His soaring popularity saw him bag the inagural Umarufu MP of the year award 2018 which was announced at a hotel in his constituency on New yearâ€™s eve. Wandayi beat strong challenge for the award from Tim Wanyonyi (Westlands), Babu Owino (Embakasi East), Junetâ€™s Mohammed (Migori East) and John Sakwa Bunyasi (Nambale).
As PAC chairman, Wandayi has made anti-corruption campaign a national pet subject, a campaign he promised to devolve to due to increased impunity, graft and mismanagement of public resources at the counties.
The MP has won the admiration of NASA leader Raila Odinga who presently enjoys a close working relationship with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
In an unprecedented move, the two foremost political leaders in Kenya recently visited Ugunja to launch the Ugunja-Ukwala-Rwambua highway, making the constituency the first rural one in which the president visited to commission a road. During the historic tour, the president also consented to addressing a myriad of pending issues affecting the region at the request of Hon Wandayi.
During many of his stops in the past one week, Wandayi downplayed any discussion on positioning for 2022 general elections saying his conscience could not allow him to betray voters who only last year gave him a fresh five-year mandate.
Since he was elected to parliament in 2013, Ugunja Constituency has since seen unprecedented levels of socio-economic development including in new tarmac roads, electrical power uptake, several new secondary schools, and clinics and hospitals enhanced with capacity to provide twenty-four hour services to Ugunja residents.
Due to his development record in Ugunja, the MP has formulated an impressive development and legislative portfolio that seen him come under pressure from residents to run for Governor.