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Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga hangs Raila Odinga’s photo in her office

Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga is undoubtedly a strong supporter of Azimio leader Raila Odinga.

Some of his peculiar actions have put her on the front line as one of the strong allies and a loyal follower of the veteran politician.

The outspoken politician has extended her love for Mr Odinga to her office in Homa Bay Town which has pictures of different personalities.

On her office wall, Ms Wanga has put a portrait of President William Ruto.

Next to the president’s picture is a picture of herself.

But what stands out from the office is a portrait of Mr Odinga which the governor has put in a corner on top of a metallic stand.

It is strategically placed so that whoever walks to the office must see it.

What amazes is, comparing the sizes of the pictures, Mr Odinga’s is the largest, perhaps given priority before the others.

But it’s not just the two pictures.

The latest portrait to be introduced to the office is one of the governor that was drawn from pencil by famous artist Colins Okello.

Ms Wanga took to her social media accounts on Tuesday to show her latest picture which was drawn by hand.

“Thank you Collins Okello for this beautiful piece of art. Pure talent from Homa Bay to the world,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

A few people quickly noticed the new picture.

However, more social media users were interested in comparing President Ruto’s and Mr Odinga’s portraits.

They compared the difference in the size of the pictures with some questioning whether there is a standard size for presidential portrait.

Mr Peter Ndiwa wrote “Why is the president’s photo smaller than Baba’s (Mr Odinga)?”

Some also questioned whether it was necessary for Mr Odinga’s picture to be in the office when he is not a serving government official.

One social media user wrote that the head of state is already visible based on his status and that the ODM leader has to be (sarcastically) magnified to be visible.

Mr Joseph Otieno hailed the governor for being loyal to Mr Odinga.

“Hiyo picha ya Raila is a loyalty swag. Ondisore kabisa ( Mr Odinga’s portrait is a sign of loyalty. It’s commendable),” he wrote.

Hanging a Head of State’s portrait in government offices and business premises has been a tradition in Kenya since independence, but there is no legal requirement under the Constitution to do so.

But hanging Mr Odinga’s portrait is something that became popular after the 2017 election when some ODM members decided to replace the president’s portraits with that of the former prime minister.

In 2016, the Ministry of Interior issued an advisory cautioning traders against removing Uhuru Kenyatta’s portraits in rebellion, following directives issued by the opposition.

Former Siaya governor Cornel Rasanga had asked residents to replace Mr Kenyatta’s portraits with those of Mr Odinga.

Consequently, the ministry noted that it would fine those found contravening the directive.

Article 9 of the Constitution identifies Kenya’s national symbols as the national flag, the national anthem, the coat of arms and the public seal. The President’s portrait is not listed as one of the symbols.

Some politicians are today known to put portraits of the president, that of Mr Odinga and theirs on the same wall.

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyongo has however taken it a notch higher by having a portrait of the retired president as well.

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