Campaigns heat up as Kakamega poll draws close
Stakes are very high as Azimio-One Kenya and Kenya Kwanza coalitions battle for the Kakamega governorship elections slated for Monday.
Leaders allied to the two political outfits were yesterday engaged in a flurry of campaign activities across the vast county as they sought last-minute support for their respective candidates.
Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi spearheaded campaigns for outgoing senator Cleophas Malalah who is the Kenya Kwanza candidate.
Mudavadi spearheaded the campaigns for Malalah on behalf of the coalition led by President-Elect William Ruto in Ikolomani, Shinyalu, Lurambi, Malava and other parts of the county during which he urged the residents “to vote for the incoming government’s flag-bearer”.
“Kenya Kwanza is a government-in-waiting and I urge you, my people, to vote for Malalah as your next governor so as to fully benefit from the new administration,” said Mudavadi.
He added: “We need a governor who can easily influence development directly from the national government in addition to what is allocated to the county.”
Malalah received a boost after being joined by Senator-elect Dr Boni Khalwale on the campaign trail.
Khalwale, however, concentrated more on the national politics at the expense of expressly endorsing his successor-cum-predecessor.
Azimio, on the other hand, crafted a different approach where their 10 newly elected MPs and 45 MCAs camped in their respective constituencies and wards galvanising support for their candidate Fernandes Barasa.
The constituencies include Ikolomani of Benard Shinali, Khwisero( Christopher Aseka), Butere (Tindi Mwale), Matungu (Peter Nabulindo) Mumias West (Johnstone Naicca) and Mumias East (Peter Salasya).
Barasa and his running mate Ayub Savula then concentrated on Shinyalu and Malava which were won by ANC through Fred Ikana and Malulu Injendi, respectively.
While campaigning for the duo in Lugari, Nabwera told the residents to cast their ballots for “Savula even if you do not know Barasa”.
“We shall be voting for Savula because he is our son and will have a major stake in the next county administration that he will share with Barasa,” said the MP-elect.
Mumias Sugar Company
While on a campaign blitz in Khwisero and other constituencies in the Southern part of Kakamega before retreating to Shinyalu and Malava, leaders allied to Azimio accused their Kenya Kwanza counterparts of frustrating the revival of Mumias Sugar Company.
“The likes of Mudavadi and Malalah are the ones that have openly resisted efforts to revive Mumias Sugar Company. We are aware that they want to auction and kill it completely. Will we accept that?” Barasa posed to the crowds as he campaigned at Mundeku in Khwisero.
The Kakamega skies were awash with choppers ferrying different leaders from one corner of the county to the other.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission County Returning (IEBC) Officer Grace Maru said they were set for the elections and called on local residents to turn up in large numbers.
“We are set for Monday and I would like to thank the residents for their patience and for keeping the peace throughout the gruelling campaign period. I urge them to do the same on Monday and thereafter,” she said. Kakamega county has 844,000 voters, 12 constituencies and 60 wards.
In Mombasa, the race to succeed Hassan Joho intensified as top Kamba leaders led by former governors Charity Ngilu and Mike Mbuvi Sonko were in Mombasa where they separately led sections of Kamba community leadership in the area to endorse the candidates ahead of Monday elections. As Sonko mobilised a section of leaders from the community to endorse Omar as Joho’s successor, Ngilu led another section to rally support behind Nassir.
On his part, Sonko pleaded with the community to support Hassan Omar, saying he is likely to bring positive change in his leadership. “Please don’t let me down. Vote for Omar and trust me you can only expect change from him. Just like other residents this community has been misused for the last 25 years. I know Omar is a gentleman who stands for truth and justice. He is not a character that can fail mwananchi,” said Sonko.
Speaking at the function the Kamba Council of elders Chairman in Mombasa Luka Mbati accused Joho of neglecting them throughout his 10-year regime.
“These are Kamba community leaders from Wiper, Kanu, Jubilee and other parties and are keen to endorse you. As members of the community we feel left out, especially with the previous government, we now want to be in the government and we know you are the only person who can make this happen” said Mbati.