Governor accuses Lusaka of using post to fight him
A full-blown political war has broken out between Bungoma governor Wycliffe Wangamati and Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka with the county boss accusing the latter of using his position to undermine him.
Wangamati has declared that he will no longer treat Lusaka as Speaker in public gatherings held in Bungoma.
Instead, the governor said he will treat the Speaker as his opponent, Lusaka having declared interest in his former seat.
The governor says the Speaker has been speaking last in meetings because of protocol, an arrangement he has been using to discredit his administration.
“From now henceforth I will be addressing you as my competitor. There will be no respect anymore,’’ declared Wangamati at a funeral in the county at the weekend.
The war between the two arch-rivals started when senator Moses Wetang’ula endorsed Lusaka for governorship.
“Lusaka is going to vie for governorship on Ford Kenya ticket as the current governor has failed to initiate any meaningful projects,’’ Wetang’ula has been telling Bungoma residents.
The Ford Kenya leader has in the past accused Wangamati of being among forces behind the aborted coup that would have seen Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi and his Tongaren counterpart Eseli Simiyu take over the leadership of the Simba party.
Wangamati has been treating Wetang’ula’s declarations with a light touch but was alarmed when the Senate Speaker picked the cue.
Wetang’ula, who introduced Wangamati into active politics and successfully unseated Lusaka in 2017 fell out after the failed Ford Kenya coup.
The senator has since vowed to remove Wangamati from office and replace him with Lusaka claiming he used county resources to organise the coup.
The senator has also accused Wangamati of corruption and abuse of office.
Speaking at Ranje village, Kanduyi Constituency, during the funeral service of Florence Khasoa, Wangamati said he will take Lusaka head on saying that the Speaker will henceforth be speaking alongside other aspirants and not as the Senate boss.
“From today there is nothing like protocol. You will be speaking together with those who have declared interest in my seat. No more special treatment,” said Wangamati.
The governor said he will now be speaking last, as the county chief.
The Senate Speaker indicated that he had resorted to run for the seat following calls by the people.
Lusaka was reacting to calls by Sirisia MP John Waluke to go for a higher seat.
“You were elevated to the Senate. Go for a national seat and leave the governorship for Wangamati,’’ said Waluke.
“I know the position I hold now is senior but in politics you must be calculative and listen to the people,” said Lusaka .
“We have great ambitions but for now I have listened to the cries of my people and anything else can wait,”he said
Others who have declared interest in the governorship include Peter Khakina and Zack Baraza.
Wangamati’s Deputy Charles Ngome has indicated that he will be running to unseat Wetangula on Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.
Wetang’ula was endorsed as a presidential candidate during Ford Kenya party National Delegates Conference (NDC) on November 4 at Bomas of Kenya.
“I have vast experience in politics and I have worked for four years as the deputy governor, the position I have dedicated my time and energy in serving Bungoma people, it is time I elevated myself as the area senator,” said Ngome.