Inside Politics

Savula move in Kakamega stirs regional clan politics 

Monday, May 16th, 2022 09:20 | By
The Azimio-One Kenya Alliance Kakamega Deputy Governor aspirant Ayub Savula addresses a gathering at St Kizito Catholic Church Lusumu in Navakholo sub-county yesterday. PHOTO/DENNIS LUMITI

The move by Lugari MP Ayub Savula to step down from the Kakamega governorship race has stirred the politics of the county.

 Intense boardroom negotiations and lobbying are said to have compelled the two-term legislator to shelve his gubernatorial ambitions.

 Savula will now be the running-mate of former Kenya Electricity Transmission Company CEO Fernandes Barasa.

 The development has now set the pace for a grueling battle between ‘Azimio-One Kenya Alliance and Kenya Kwanza Alliance who are out to clinch the Kakamega governorship and the other seats.

 Supporters of Azimio were yesterday upbeat that the pair would clinch the governorship while their Kenya Kwanza opponents poured cold water on the deal.  Social media was awash with exchanges between supporters of the two outfits with each exuding confidence of victory.

 Kenya Kwanza is going through turbulence in the county after a number of supporters jumped ship in protest over the decision to compel former Senator Boni Khalwale out of the race for governorship in favour of his successor Cleophas Malalah.

 The decision by UDA to field candidates in the county and other parts of the Western region has also stirred the hornet’s nest.

 Leaders and supporters of ANC expressed their misgivings and declared they would decide their next course of action. A similar storm is within the ranks of UDA.

 “We are not impressed with the way matters in our party and coalition are being handled,” a group of UDA supporters said in a statement read by their spokesperson Wycliffe Seven.

 “We have, thus, resolved to vote for Fernandes Barasa as governor, Elsie Muhanda as Woman Representative and Brian Lishenga for Senate,” they added.

 The trio is Azimio’s allies and the group’s sentiments brought to the fore the underlying currents in Kenya Kwanza and which Azimio is keen to take advantage of. However, Azimio’s critics dismissed the newfound alliance between Barasa and Savula terming it as “short-lived.”

 “Savula is not a team player and we know too well that his marriage with Barasa will not last. We are not scared of them and are confident that Malalah will clinch this seat very early in the morning,” said Jeff Mwenje, a UDA official in the county.

 The issue of zoning continued to rear its ugly head with a section of analysts expressing their views over the likely impact of the Barasa-Savula ticket.

 “Barasa comes from Matungu which is in the Southern Kakamega bloc while Savula hails from Lugari in Northern Kakamega. Their candidacies will have a lot of impact in this race and could work in their favour,” said Desterio Okumu, a political commentator from the county.

 Azimio appears to have been studying the game-plan of Kenya Kwanza before resolving to unite Savula and Barasa. Kenya Kwanza’s main headache is that three of their candidates hail from the Central Kakamega zone.

 While Malalah is originally from Makunga in Mumias East, he has settled in Milimani, Lurambi where he even served as the MCA for Mahiakalo between 2013 and 2017.

 He has picked Dr. Beatrice Inyangala as his running mate. The scholar hails from Lurambi but is married in Malava. Khalwale is from Ikolomani.

 The Central zone comprises Ikolomani, Shinyalu, Lurambi and Navakholo while Northern Kakamega has Malava, Lugari and Likuyani whereas the Southern is made up of Mumias East, Mumias West, Matungu, Butere and Khwisero constituencies. The Central and Northern Kakamega have been demanding that they produce the next governor.

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