A Nairobi businessman Steve Okuthe has joined the Karachuonyo 2017 parliamentary race on an ODM ticket. Although making a debut in elective politics, Okuthe has been involved in ODM activities since its formation as an activist but came to the political limelight during the Homa Bay senatorial by-election campaigns when the ODM party picked him to spearhead the campaigns for Moses Kajwang in Karachuonyo constituency.
Okuthe was picked to deliver the Karachuonyo votes after MP James Rege declared his support for Philip Okundi who had decamped from ODM to run against Kajwang’. Okuthe did not disappoint after Kajwang’ received massive support from Karachuonyo constituency.
It was after the by-election that the electorate demanded that he runs for the seat as Rege was now being seen as a mole who could not be relied on. He has now bowed to pressure and declared that he will run for the seat and to help the Karachuonyo people achieve the much needed development that the current MP has failed to undertake.
Those supporting Okuthe say that he has been actively involved in politics which dates back to 1991 when he was elected the organising secretary of YK92 for the South Nyanza region. He is also the founder member of the defunct Liberal Democratic Party which formed a coalition with Mwai Kibaki’s Nak to form Narc.
Okuthe who runs a security firm, a building and construction company as well as a clearing and forwarding company has been involved in a number of development projects in Karachuonyo way back even before he developed interest in politics. He is running a feeding programme at Rabware Primary School.
He has previously supported schools and churches as well as youth and women groups in the constituency. Some of the churches where Okuthe had conducted fundraisers are Sanda SDA Church, Achuth SDA church, Oriang SDA church, Roho Mowar Israel church in Simbi Kogembo and Mawego Catholic Church among others. Schools which have benefited from his harambee contributions include Otaro Mixed Secondary School and Dr Adhu Awiti High School among others. He has also sponsored construction of boda boda sheds in Nyangweta market and Oluti market among others.
Okuthe’s candidature has received support across the constituency including the west where Rege comes from. The west has always dominated Karachuonyo politics for the last 20 years as Rege is serving his tenth year while the late Awiti served for 10 years.
Okuthe now becomes the first candidate from the east to offer his candidature after Phoebe Asiyo. The political wind that is now blowing in Karachuonyo puts Okuthe ahead of other candidates as his clan Kanyaluo clan and the west voters who are the majority are fully backing him. He also enjoys support where Rege comes from as the voters there claim Rege has betrayed them by joiningJubilee and abandoning them. They now see Okuthe as the man to send Rege home during next year’s elections.
Okuthe has pleaded with politicians and aspirants interested in the Karachuonyo seat to conduct mature campaigns and to avoid the old school politics of violence, incitement, mudslinging and propaganda but to sell their policies for the voters to decide on the best candidate.
Others are Steve Odidi who contested in 2013 for MCA, Adipo Okuome, Dave Arunga and Okech Kendo