Wetang'ula, Wamalwa rivalry to play out in Bungoma contest

Eugene Wamalwa and Moses Wetang'ula

Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa (left) and Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetang'ula.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Wetang'ula has in the past accused Wamalwa of masterminding a revolt within his party.
  • On the other hand, Wamalwa has always blamed Wetang’ula for the stunted development in Bungoma.

The Bukusu political supremacy battle between Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetang'ula and Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa is expected to be fought out in Bungoma's senatorial contest.

Wetang'ula, who is running for the seat for a third time, will face off with Bungoma Deputy Governor Prof Charles Kibanani Ngome, in a race that seems to have narrowed down to a two-horse race. Ngome, who is running on DAP-K ticket, is being fronted by Wamalwa.

Wetang'ula has in the past accused Wamalwa of masterminding a revolt within his party that led to an attempted coup by MPs Wafula Wamunyinyi (Kanduyi) and Eseli Simiyu (Tongeren).

On the other hand, Wamalwa has always blamed Wetang’ula for the stunted development in Bungoma and Trans-Nzoia counties, where Ford Kenya is the predominant political party. The CS has since vowed to ensure that Ford Kenya does not win any elective seat in Bungoma during the August polls.

Initially, Wamalwa wanted Wamunyinyi to face Wetang’ula in the Bungoma senatorial race, before DAP-K settled on Ngome who has vowed to send Wetang'ula home, the latter’s perceived popularity notwithstanding.

Speaking to Nation.Africa on Friday in Bungoma town, Ngome said he is the best candidate for the seat on the account of his track record.

Charles Ngome

Bungoma Deputy Governor Prof Charles Kibanani Ngome. 

Photo credit: Brian Ojamaa | Nation Media Group

“I have vast experience in politics and for the last four years I have dedicated my time and energy serving the people of Bungoma as their Deputy Governor,” said Ngome.

"The work of a senator is oversight and not sabotage, as Wetang’ula has in the past done to Governor Wycliffe Wangamati and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka when he was the governor," the renowned educationist said.

Ngome, who comes from the minority Tachoni community, which mainly occupies Webuye East constituency and parts of Tongaren and Kimilili constituencies, said Wetang’ula has been out of touch at the grassroots level, since he has been spending much of his time campaign for Kenya Kwanza Alliance across the country.

“In a fair contest, I will defeat Wetang’ula and send him into political oblivion,” he said.

Political analysts are however of the view that it will be an uphill task for Ngome to unseat Wetang’ula give that the incumbent senator enjoys massive support in the county.

"Wetang’ula does not need to campaign in Bungoma. He only needs to announce that he is vying and he will automatically emerge victorious in his backyard," said Isaac Wanjekeche, a political analyst.

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