August 9

Wetang’ula decision to defend post spices up Bungoma race

Tuesday, May 31st, 2022 04:10 | By
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula. PHOTO/Courtesy
National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula. PHOTO/Courtesy

Despite being earmarked for a key seat if his Kenya Kwanza Alliance forms the next government in August, Moses Wetang’ula is tenaciously keen to retain his Bungoma senate seat.

The Ford Kenya leader who is a principal in the Kenya Kwanza Alliance has been designated as a possible National Assembly Speaker if Deputy President William Ruto wins the presidency.

The former Senate Minority leader has resisted calls for him to pull out of the Senate contest in favour of other candidates.

His critics argue that Wetang’ula decision was a strategic move for self-preservation in case the Kenya Kwanza alliance fails to clinch State House in the August polls.

And because of the lingering shadow over his status in the Kenya Kwanza coalition as well as his abrasive brand of politics, his rivals seem to have evaded the seat, which Wetang’ula has held for two terms.

Bungoma deputy governor Charles Ngome has also thrown his hat in the ring against Wetang’ula who will be seeking his third term, making him one of the high-ranking members of the Upper House.

But the contest is seen largely as a supremacy battle between Wetang’ula and Defence Cabinet Secretary seat Eugene Wamalwa. Ngome the current deputy speaker to governor Wycliffe Wangamati will run on Wamalwa’s Democratic Alliance Party of Kenya (DAP-K) ticket.

Wetang’ula accuses Wamalwa of being behind the failed coup in Ford Kenya engineered by Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi and Eseli Simiyu of Tongeren who are now DAP-K party leader and secretary-general respectively.

Wamalwa accuses Wetang’ula of being behind the lag of development both in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties where Ford Kenya is predominant and has vowed to ensure it does not win any elective seat during in August.

Initially, Wamalwa wanted Wamunyinyi to face his fellow party leader but the Kanduyi MP indicated he was keen to defend his seat, with his critics claiming he was keen to avoid a contest with the Ford Kenya supremo.

Ngome tells his audience he was the only politician capable of confronting Wetang’ula. The locals have already christened Wetang’ula as ‘crocodile’ in the deep sea,” who is difficult to pull it out. The ‘crocodile’ narrative emerged after Wamunyinyi and Eseli failed to snatch the party from him during their 2019 failed coup.

The other candidates include Jacob Machacha who is vying for Federal Party and new entrant Rev Harman Kasili for the UDP party. Also in the race is a 28-year-old communication strategist and youth leader,

Kenya Kwanza principal

Wetang’ula has so far defended his move to stick with his position despite being a principal in the Kenya Kwanza coalition.

‘’I am comfortable being your senator and the positions am pushing in Kenya Kwanza will benefit Ford Kenya and the community as a whole,’’ Wetang’ula defended himself.

On the other hand, Ngome who once abandoned his boss and joined UDA in the Kenya Kwanza coalition before joining DAP-K has maintained time was ripe for him to send Wetang’ula home.

He said he decided to join DAP-K under Azimio la Umoja because it was impossible for him to work with Wetang’ula who had also joined the coalition.

“Immediately Ford Kenya and ANC joined Deputy President William Ruto, I started being uncomfortable in Kenya Kwanza and that is why I made a decision to move out and reunite with my boss and preach Azimio gospel in Bungoma’’he said.

Wamalwa has vowed his DAP-K party will deliver both gubernatorial, women rep and senate seats in  Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties. On the other hand, Wetangula has vowed to ensure the two “coup plotters” are kicked out of their seats.

He has promised a bruising battle to ensure that Governor Wangamati who he accuses of funding the coup is replaced by senate speaker Kenneth Lusaka who is contesting on the Ford Kenya ticket.

Wetang’ula has also vowed to ensure that Wamunyinyi does his last term in parliament after he fronted former Bungoma Assembly Speaker John Makali to oust him.

The senator has also asked Tongeren voters to vote out Eseli and elect John Chikati who was formerly working in the office of deputy president.

However, Kasili and Machacha have also promised to give Wetangula a run for his money arguing that they should not be underrated.

‘’History is going to be made and I am going to clinch this seat come August 9,’’ said Machaca.

Kasili asked Bungoma electorates to go for fresh blood and do away with those who have been in politics for decades. ‘’Some politicians have been in this positions for years but nothing to show off,so elect me for a change’’ he said.

But former Bumula MP Bifwoli Wakoli has asked Wetang’ula to drop his interest in the Senate seat, having been promised a key slot in a Kenya Kwanza government.

 Wakoli told Wetang’ula to focus on campaigns for the DP Ruto to win the presidency.

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