Rivalries between ODM politicians and independent candidates dominated the burial of Linet Akinyi, the stepmother of Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma.
The competition was centred on two governor candidates, Woman Representative Gladys Wanga and former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero.
Wanga is seeking the seat on an ODM ticket, while Kidero is running as an independent candidate.
Cheering and jeering from residents rented the air each time politicians spoke.
Senator Moses Kajwang, Woman Rep candidate Joyce Osogo and Kwabwai MCA Richard Ogindo effort to push for six-piece voting was shot down by supporters allied to Kidero. Wanga was not present at the funeral.
Some youths tried to interrupt Kidero, his allies former nominated MCA Jared Kajomo and Homa Bay Central MCA Julius Nyambok.
At some point, Kaluma was forced to intervene to quell the tension as some youths allied to the two governor hopefuls engaged in chaos.
The youths engaged in fist fights, kicks and blows at the dais where the coffin was placed.
Kaluma pleaded with the youths to keep calm and allow him give his mother a decent send-off. The standoff went on for about 10 minutes as the legislator continued to plead.
The burial took place on Saturday at Ndiru village in Homa Bay East ward.
“You came to help me mourn my mother and I don’t see any reason why we should fight. We have visitors in our midst so don’t spoil this ceremony,” Kaluma said.
The ceremony returned into a shouting match after Kanu senatorial candidate Tom Ojanga told Kajwang to stop hoodwinking residents with six-piece voting, while many are languishing in poverty.
Ojanga said residents have not seen the benefit of six-piece voting so they should not be coerced to repeat the same in 2022. He declared his support for Kidero.
He also urged residents to vote for Kidero because of his executive, administrative, operational and industrial experience.
“You can’t pressure us to vote six-piece when many residents here still inlive in poverty. We’ll not elect you again to continue sleeping on the job,” Ojanga said.
He told ODM politicians to stop undermining them, saying they are part of the Azimio-One Kenya Coalition.
“I want to remind you that we’re equal partners since we all support Raila Odinga presidential bid. You should no longer be talking about six-piece,” he said.
Ogindo accused Kidero of turning the funeral into his political rally and claimed that he (Kidero) hired youths to heckle them.
“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.
Ogindo’s sentiments were rubbished by Kajomo who claimed that ODM was facing rebellion in Homa Bay because of mismanagement.
“ODM must accept that six-piece no longer sells in Homa Bay. They mishandled party nominations to serve few individual interests,” Kajomo said.
Kidero cautioned residents against voting for politicians without their interests at heart.
“Vote for someone with the capacity to build factories, markets for women and improve ECD classrooms and roads. I qualify to transform the lives of the people of Homa Bay,” he said.
Kajwang asked residents to vote for ODM candidates. He said those who went independent after the party primaries are bitter because they were defeated.
He called for peaceful campaigns devoid of name-calling.
“Don’t be people who are only happy and appreciate ODM when they are given the ticket. There are qualifications and rights for ODM members to become a flag bearer,” Kajwang said.