Ford-K ticket hot cake in Bungoma race
As the Bungoma Senate by-election beckons, Ford Kenya party has become a hot cake in the county as those eyeing the seat scramble for its ticket.
Candidates who vied for various positions through other parties in last month’s General Election and lost are now trooping to Ford Kenya.
The seat fell vacant after Moses Wetangula resigned and successfully ran for the Speaker of National Assembly.
Aspirants for the seat believe that Wetangula is now in charge of Bungoma politics and whoever he will hand the ticket will definitely win the seat. The Speaker is the leader of Ford Kenya.
In the General Election, the party won six parliamentary seats out of ten in the county and more than 20 Members of the County Assembly.
He also sent home his fiercest critics, former Kanduyi and Tongeren MPs Wafula Wamunyinyi and Eseli Simiyu respectively, and replaced them with Ford Kenya members.
Former Governor Wycliffe Wangamati also lost the seat to Kenneth Lusaka of Ford Kenya.
Those who have shown interest in the Ford Kenya sponsorship include Moses Nandalwe, who contested the Sirisia parliamentary seat on ODM ticket and lost to John Waluke.
Nandalwe said after meeting the elders, they advised him to go for the higher seat using a Ford Kenya ticket.
He said he lost the seat because of the choice of party, saying ODM had become unpopular in the county.
“After serious consultations, elders and my supporters have told me to go for the Senate seat on Ford Kenya ticket saying ODM is unpopular,’’ he said.
He said he has what it takes to take over from where Wetang’ula left and oversight the county administration.
Bungoma East Kenya National Union of Teacher Executive Secretary Aggrey Namisi,who vied for the Webuye East MP seat on an ODM ticket but lost to Ford Kenya’s Martin Wanyonyi, is also set to join the race for the party ticket.
He said he had been asked by a group of Tachoni elders and residents to seek a truce with Wetang’ula and vie for the Senate seat on a Ford Kenya party ticket.
Businessman Joseph Waswa is also salivating for the seat on a Ford Kenya ticket, saying he is best placed to take over from Wetangula.
“I am the only one who can put Governor Kenneth Lusaka on his toes by checking his administration,’’ said Waswa.
Former Bumula MP Mwambu Mabonga is also in the race for the party ticket. Mabonga had run on a UDA ticket in the last election and lost to Jack Wambonga of DAP-K.
Mwambu had hinted at joining the Ford Kenya party after he asked Wetang’ula to accept back those who had left the party.
“Right now Wetang’ula needs strong people in his Ford Kenya party who can walk with him as he prepares to take Mulembe Nation to State House in future and we shall all walk with him,” he said.
However, the former lawmaker, who is a close ally of President William Ruto, is yet to come out openly and declare whether he will be contesting for the seat.
Others who have shown interest of running using the party’s ticket, but have not come out openly, include a journalist Bonny Nyongesa and Rev Herman Kasili who lost to Wetang’ula in last month’s polls.
Kasili, who contested on UDP ticket said: “I will be seeking Wetang’ula’s support because he appeared to like me despite the fact that we were rivals in the August 9 elections. I believe the people will give me a chance to serve them this time round.”
Wafula Wakoli, a long serving aide of Wetangula, has also tossed himself in the race.
He said that he was upbeat that the Bungoma Senate seat would remain in Ford Kenya.
Wakoli, who was compelled by Wetangula to drop his bid for Kanduyi MP seat and support John Makali, is said to enjoy the backing of some Ford Kenya MCAs.
Wakoli also believes that he will get the backing of his boss.