Countering Malala: Savula drops bid, agrees to deputise Fernandez in Kakamega race

Lugari MP Ayub Savula

Lugari MP Ayub Savula.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Lugari MP Mr Ayub Savula is now promising a decisive victory for Azimio la Umoja Movement in Kakamega gubernatorial race after he dropped his bid in favour of ODM's Fernandez Baraza.

Mr Savula termed as a sure bet, the ticket between him and Mr Baraza moments after reports emerged that ODM and DAP-K had reached a deal over the Kakamega race.

The lawmaker was to fly DAP-K's gubernatorial flag in the August 9 race.

But in the new deal, the MP agreed to deputise Mr Baraza as part of a plan to give the Deputy President William Ruto-led Kenya Kwanza team a run for its money.

The Raila Odinga-led team is seeking to retain the seat that it is holding through Governor Wickliffe Oparanya, who is serving his last term, so as to retain its control on the western Kenya headquarters.

Dr Ruto is also salivating for the vast county through Senator Cleophas Malala, who is gunning for the governorship through Mr Musalia Mudavadi's ANC party.

Mr Savula, while accepting the new arrangement, said he has a vast understanding of Kakamega County and this would help his side to make inroads in the region to ensure the much needed victory.

His sentiments are coming at a time when claims had emerged that the former Ketraco CEO is only popular in the county's urban areas than the grassroots.

The claims have also indicated that Mr Malala has more presence in the interior of Kakamega County, offering him a head start in the ongoing campaigns.

But the sentiments by Mr Savula could be seen as a response to the claims as he seeks to shift from constituency politics to county leadership.

"I accept to be Fernandez Baraza's running mate. With my understanding of the psychology and terrain of Kakamega, we can rest assured of a decisive victory," said Mr Savula.

And added: "By all accounts, the Barasa-Savula ticket is sure bet on August 9th."

The arrangement in Azimio also saw DAP-K abandon its quest for the women representative seat amid jitters that the movement could be making way for zoning the county in the favour of the dominant ODM.

But a communication released by the team assured aspirants on parliamentary and ward seats to proceed with campaigns as the arrangement was only affecting the top county seats.

Ms Naomi Shiyonga who was to run for the women seat on DAP-K ticket shelved the quest in the favour of ODM's Ms Elsie Muhanda.

Mr Barasa could not be reached on phone by the time of going to press.

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