Kakamega trilogy as region’s politicians jostle for positions
Thursday, October 14th, 2021 00:00 | 3 mins read
Politicians eyeing various seats in the 2022 General Election in Kakamega County are locked in a vicious battle to bag the tickets of the three main political parties in the region.
A majority of the aspirants, who spoke to the People Daily, insisted they would be on the ballot despite the cutthroat battle for tickets from Amani National Congress (ANC), Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
It is unlikely that Ford-Kenya will field candidates in Kakamega due to an agreement between its party leader Moses Wetang’ula and his ANC counterpart Musalia Mudavadi.
According to insiders in the two parties, ANC will exclusively field candidates in Kakamega and Vihiga counties, Ford-K in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia leaving Busia as a battleground.
Nondescript political outfits are lying in wait as they hope to profit from possible fallouts in the main parties after the primaries.
Reap from fallout
Such include Maendeleo Development Movement (MDM), which has been sweet-talking some of the aspirants with the promise of direct tickets.
The party’s leader Hamisi Omukanda yesterday told the aspirants “not to accept to be consumed by stress and depression over primaries” and instead enlist with MDM.
“This is our home-made party and we are here to offer solutions. They can use our party tickets but support presidential candidates of their choice because we will not be fielding any,” he said.
MDM reaped from fallouts in 2013 during which they clinched the Malava seat through the current MP Malulu Injendi.
The lawmaker, however, switched to Jubilee in 2017 and successfully defended the seat. He has now joined ANC, whose ticket he is hoping to use as he seeks a third term.
Talk of “sacred cows” continues to muddy the political waters with some aspirants said to be considering going independent but declaring their support for other candidates, especially for the Presidency.
Politicians seeking the ANC and ODM tickets are in the most dilemma as none appear to be ready to accept nomination results that are not in their favour.
In the gubernatorial race, Senator Cleophas Malalah, Lugari MP Ayub Savula and former cabinet minister Amukowa Anangwe are digging in for a fight. The trio is very close to their leader Mudavadi.
“I am a founder member and one of the top financiers of ANC. I am the deputy party leader. So how can one dream of getting the party’s ticket other than me,” said Savula.
On the other hand, Malalah was exuding confidence saying he was “the face of ANC in Kakamega” and that he was the only one capable of delivering the gubernatorial seat if picked in the nominations.
On his part, Prof Anangwe, a shrewd politician and political scientist, laughed off the confidence and “boastfulness” exhibited by his opponents and promised them a battle royale.
“We shall go to the nominations if boardroom negotiations fail and I can assure you that I will triumph in any of these,” he told the People Daily.
The same pressure is in ODM where the battle pits deputy governor Philip Kutima, Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito and Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) CEO Fernandes Barasa.
The body language and utterances of the trio point at none accepting nothing short of the party ticket.
Prof Kutima has been a loyal member of ODM and his boss Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and expects to be rewarded with the ticket.
But his efforts to succeed Oparanya, who had endorsed him earlier, were jolted two months ago when he was ousted as the county party chairman by Kizito.
He has since been relegated amid claims that the governor orchestrated the ouster with funding from Barasa.
“Barasa is one of the top financiers of ODM’s activities in Kakamega and beyond. Kutima believes he has been very loyal to the party.
Kizito is the party’s blue-eyed boy in the county. All expect nothing but that ticket,” said Martin Andati, a political analyst.
The same situation faces those seeking the parliamentary seats, which have attracted hundreds of aspirants mainly in ANC.
In Shinyalu for instance, the former MP Lisamula Anami, businessman Fred Ikana, Antony Lung’aho, Adrian Meja and Ambeyi Ligabo appear to be settling for nothing less than the ANC ticket.
All of them are close allies of Mudavadi and they can not dare campaign against their leader yet they all want to be on the ballot.
Ikana, perhaps the closest to Mudavadi, was yesterday full of confidence and said he was already laying ground for the general elections.
“I have not joined this race to run half-way then drop out. So the issue of nominations is out of the way.
We shall win that ticket and go all the way to clinch the parliamentary seat,” he told the People Daily.
Mudavadi, who is walking a tightrope in his efforts to maintain expectations and unity of the party, admitted that some aspirants may opt to go independent so as to ensure they are on the ballot.
“Many people are losing confidence in political parties, especially how they manage their primaries.
That is why we as ANC are putting in place strong mechanisms that will convince all our aspirants and their supporters that the nomination results were credible, free and fair,” he said.