Inside Politics

Khalwale teams up with Oparanya in race for governorship against Barasa

Monday, January 15th, 2024 14:45 | By
Wycliffe Oparanya with Boni Khalwale
Wycliffe Oparanya with Boni Khalwale. PHOTO/@KBonimtetezi/X

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale has announced his governorship bid for Kakamega in 2027 to challenge the incumbent Fernandes Barasa.

In a new twist of events, Khalwale has teamed up with former Governor Wycliffe Oparanya in a bid to unseat Barasa.

The new alliance between Khalwale and Oparanya could stir up things in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party, where Oparanya and Barasa are members. Barasa was elected in 2022 on an ODM ticket.

Khalwale's party

Khalwale, a former member of the ODM party, was elected a senator in 2022 under the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.

"Two months ago I visited the President of Kenya (William Ruto) and announced to him that in 2027 I will be running for governor of Kakamega. I deliberately chose Governor Wycliffe Ambesta Oparanya for this very important communication because he was our first governor," Khalwale stated.

"I have met the former Governor of Kakamega without prejudice to anybody, be it the one who is currently in office or one who hopes to vie for the position of governor in Kakamega in 2027."

According to Oparanya, Khalwale put him on toes during his reign, something he says helped him deliver to his level best.

"He put me on toes of course. And because he put me on toes I think I was able to deliver and that is what a senator is supposed to do. In politics, there are no permanent enemies and permanent friends. What is important is interests," Oparanya said.

"We have decided to bury any differences that people thought that we had so that we can work together for the people of Kakamega and Luhya (community) as a whole."

Barasa is currently serving his first term, having taken over from Oparanya.

Khalwale had expressed interest in the Kakamega governor's seat ahead of the August 9, 2022, polls but dropped out of the race in favour of Cleophas Malala after interventions by Kenya Kwanza Alliance leader William Ruto. He went on to vie for the Kakamega Senate seat.

The Senator-elect garnered 247,860 votes to beat his closest challenger Brian Lishenga of the ODM party, who got 195,052 votes.

In 2022, the governorship seat is set to attract interest from Khalwale, Malala and Barasa among other contestants.

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