Voters reject senatorial bids of retiring county heads
Four of the six retiring governors who sought re-election in other elective positions after they served their second and final term in office were dealt a major blow by voters.
Of the governors who offered themselves for various parliamentary and senatorial races in the August 9 elections, only two succeeded.
Switching to senatorial seats were governors Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet), Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Ali Ibrahim Roba (Mandera), Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) and Martin Wambora (Embu).
They were hoping to shift to the Senate upon the expiry of their terms, while Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong was seeking a comeback as Teso South MP.
Only Mandago and Roba succeeded in their bids to represent their counties in the Upper House.
Mandago won the senatorial seat currently occupied by Prof. Margaret Kamar, who chose not to defend her post, after getting 252,800 votes, beating former radio presenter Robert Kemei (independent, 94,875 votes.
Zedekiah Bundotich (independent) came second with 127,013 votes.
In Mandera County, Governor Ali Roba clinched the senatorial seat with 53,861 votes on a United Democratic Movement ticket, trouncing incumbent Mohamed Maalim Mohamud who vied as an independent candidate (43,843 votes).
In Busia, Teso South voters humbled Governor Ojaamong (ODM), who was seeking to extend his stay in elective politics.
He could only manage third place in a race won by former MP Mary Emase of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
A similar fate befell Kivutha Kibwana, the outgoing governor of Makueni, who also failed in his bid to become a senator.
Governor Kibwana, who was running on a Muungano Party ticket, was trounced by two-term Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo of Wiper, who bagged 177,273 votes ahead of Kibwana (59,034 votes).
In Embu County, voters humiliated outgoing governor Martin Wambora, as he emerged fifth in the race won by Democratic Party’s Alexander Mundigi.
Wambora, who is the CoG chairman, polled 13,523 votes, compared with Mundigi’s 81,162, in a race that attracted 12 candidates.
Wambora’s 10 years at the helm of the county administration had been full of drama as he holds the distinction of having been impeached twice and only being saved by the courts.
Wambora was seeking the Senatorial seat on his political outfit, Umoja na Maendeleo Party (UMP), an affiliate of Kenya Kwanza Alliance.
Many of the residents were of the view that Wambora, who was born in 1951, had been in politics for a long and sent him home to rest.
They said Wambora, nicknamed Ciiko (actions) should pave way for the new crop of leaders with fresh development ideas.