Ford Kenya Tipped For Victory In Kabuchai By-Election Race

Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi and the Ford-Kenya boss Moses Wetang’ula have vowed to consolidate western Kenya into a single voting bloc that will produce one presidential candidate in 2022.

NAIROBI, Kenya, February 16, 2021 – As the clock ticks towards the D-day for Kabuchai parliamentary by-election slated for March 4, the race is narrowing down to a battle between Ford Kenya led by Senator Moses Wetangula and United Democratic Alliance (UDA) associated with Deputy President William Ruto.

Candidates for the two parties Majimbo Kalasinga (Ford Kenya) and Evans Kaikai (UDA) respectively are emerging as front runners in a crowded field of seven contestants.

For the DP, it will be a litmus test as the newly constituted party intends to use the by-election to ascertain its popularity in the vote-rich western Kenya. It’s the first constituency for the party to field a candidate directly, and losing it would send a wrong signal and probably dampen the public perception on its presumptive spiralling popularity.

In the recent past, DP Ruto has made a myriad of whirlwind tours in Bungoma County.

And for Wetangula, it is what we call a must-win situation considering that Kabuchai is not only a constituency in Bungoma but his home area where he was born and brought up. It is also the home constituency of Governor Wafula Wangamati and Woman Representative Catherine Wambilianga, who both won their seats on Ford Kenya.

Moses Wetang’ula

The former foreign affairs minister was accused of bringing on board a defector from Jubilee, Kalasinga at the expense of Ford Kenya stalwarts. The move seems to be working well for Kalasinga.

Whereas Kaikai is a debutant just like the rest of the six candidates, the Ford Kenya party man is trying his luck for the third time having unsuccessfully contested the seat in 2013 and 2017 losing to the late James Lusweti who died in December 2020.

Kaikai is an accounts consultant with interests in agriculture. He is a former KRA director whose board was dissolved while serving for a second 3-years term. On the other hand Kalasinga is a process engineer who resigned from Nzoia Sugar Company to plunge into politics.

Surprises in any elections cannot be ruled out as the newcomers can easily run away with victory going the history of by-elections characterized by low voter turn-out.

The other candidates to watch and who appear to have deep pockets include Peter Kapanga who is running independently together with US-based doctor Gasper Wafubwa. Kapanga is a lands expert and businessman in Nairobi region.

Wafubwa also from Chwele Kabuchai ward is a medic who has been practising in America for over 20years. He has initiated some development projects on the ground in absentia which he is banking on to win votes.

He is also a member of the Batukeika clan of the Bukusu assumed to be the majority in the constituency with an estimated voter population of 57,000.

Kalasinga is from Balako clan while Kaikai is Omumatiru. Kapanga belongs to Basongwe  clan from Khachonge in Luhya Bwake.

The rest of the candidates include Amos Wekesa from Mukuyuni running on Federal Party of Kenya (FPK), Stephen Barasa of MDP, David Kibiti of Green Party also from Mukuyuni and Prof. Jeremiah Marakia of United Democratic Party.

Because nearly 40,000 voters turned up in the 2027 polls it is estimated that a lowly 25,000 may turn up. Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi and the Ford-Kenya boss Moses Wetang’ula have vowed to consolidate western Kenya into a single voting bloc that will produce one presidential candidate in 2022.

The leaders spoke after reaching an agreement not to field candidates against each other in two by-elections in the region. They reached a pact in order to win back seats that fell vacant after the deaths of Justus Murunga (ANC, Matungu) and John Lusweti (Ford-Kenya, Kabuchai).

The parties will be supporting ANC’s Peter Oscar Nabulindo for the Matungu seat while Majimbo Kalasinga will vie on a Ford-Kenya ticket for the Kabuchai seat.

Mudavadi and Wetang’ula said the by-elections will be a “litmus test for the much-elusive Luhya unity”.

“These by-elections will be won by the unity team and anyone outside ANC and Ford-Kenya is an enemy and project against the Mulembe Nation,” Mudavadi said. He continued: “We won’t allow other people to come here and dismantle our resolve and unity.”

ANC and Ford-Kenya are wary of the threat posed by the newly formed United Democratic Alliance (UDA), which has been associated with Deputy President William Ruto.

 

 

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