Ford Kenya, UDA friendly fire in race to replace Speaker Moses Wetang’ula
What you need to know:
- The Bungoma senatorial race is turning out to be a battle between National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya party and President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
- The seat, which fell vacant following Mr Wetang’ula’s election as Speaker, has attracted close to 20 aspirants.
- Pundits say the by-election is likely to generate “friendly fire” between the two Kenya Kwanza Alliance affiliate parties.
The Bungoma senatorial race is turning out to be a battle between National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya party and President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
The seat, which fell vacant following Mr Wetang’ula’s election as Speaker, has attracted close to 20 aspirants.
Pundits say the by-election is likely to generate “friendly fire” between the two Kenya Kwanza Alliance affiliate parties.
UDA has three candidates in former Bumula MP Mwambu Mabonga, Mr Walter Mukinginyi and Mr Timothy Lukorito, while Ford Kenya has 10 with Mr Wafula Wakoli and Mr Eric Nakhurenya the frontrunners.
Ford Kenya, the second oldest party in the country after Kanu, enjoys immense popularity in Bungoma.
The party bagged six out of the nine constituency seats. It also has the majority of county assembly seats at 20 as well as governor, senator and women representative positions.
Many believe that Mr Wetang’ula holds sway in Bungoma politics and whoever he will give the Ford Kenya ticket will win the seat.
Mr Wetang’ula won the seat for a third time with a landslide victory.
UDA on the other hand managed to get three out of the nine MP seats. It won Webuye West under Mr Dan Wanyama, Mt Elgon under Fred Kapondi and Kimilili under Didmus Barasa.
Both Mr Barasa and Mr Wanyama’s victory have been challenged in court.
UDA also managed to get nine out of the 45 MCA seats.
Mr Wetang’ula during a meeting with Ford Kenya MCAs in his Kanduyi home last week endorsed his long-time personal assistant Wafula Wakoli for the Senate seat.
“Mr Wakoli has been loyal to and walked with the party for many years through thick and thin we should all support him,” Mr Wetang’ula said.
Mr Wafula Wakoli expressed confidence in winning the seat that was the only one Ford Kenya managed to get in the Senate.
Mr Eric Nakhurenya, a lawyer who is a member of the Ford Kenya National Elections Board, has the support of residents of Kabuchai constituency.
Interestingly, Mr Nakhurenya comes from the same locality as Mr Wetang’ula and both went to the nearby Teremi High School for their secondary education.
Also seeking to vie for the seat on a Ford Kenya ticket is Mr Moses Nandalwe, who contested the Sirisia parliamentary seat on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ticket but lost to Mr John Waluke of the Jubilee Party.
Kenya National Union of Teachers official Aggrey Murumba Namisi, who vied for the Webuye East MP seat on an ODM ticket but lost to Ford Kenya’s Martin Wanyonyi Pepela is also set to join the race on the party ticket.
Democratic Action party of Kenya DAP-K has fronted former Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi for the seat.
Others in the race are Rev Herman Kasili, Mr Bonewayne Nyongesa, Mr Jacob Majembe Machacha, and Mr Joseph Kubende.