Democratic Alliance Party of Kenya (DAP-K) leader Wafula Wamunyinyi will fly the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition flag in the December 8, Bungoma senate by-election. He becomes the second individual to use the party to contest for a seat.
The coalition leader Raila Odinga, in the August 9 General Election, used the party to contest for the presidency, losing to President William Ruto.
Mr Odinga then flew the Azimio flag, even as all the other candidates forming the coalition used their respective constituent parties to run for various seats.
Should he win in the Thursday mini-polls, Mr Wamunyinyi will be the only elected leader to represent the coalition as an elected leader.
The seat fell vacant following Mr Moses Wetang’ula’s election as National Assembly Speaker. Mr Wetang’ula was elected senator on the August 9 General Election for a third term after bagging 286,146 votes to beat five other contestants.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairperson Wafula Chebukati announced that the Bungoma Senate by-election will be held on December 8 vide a Gazette notice alongside those in Ololmasani, Kyome/Thaana, Utawala, Mumias North and South Gem Wards in Narok, Kitui, Nairobi City, Kakamega and Siaya counties respectively.
The by-elections for Elgeyo Marakwet Senate and MP races in Kandara and Garissa Township will be held on January 5, 2023.
The seats fell vacant following the appointment to the Cabinet of Kipchumba Murkomen (Transport), Alice Wahome (Water), and Aden Duale (Defence).
In Bungoma, Mr Wamunyinyi will battle out with 10 others in a race that will feature constituent Kenya Kwanza parties including UDA, Ford-Kenya and People’s Empowerment Party.
Among those seeking to replace Mr Wetang’ula are former Bumula MP Mwambu Mabonga (UDA), David Wafula Wakoli (Ford Kenya), Mr Wekesa Robert Sifuna (Roots Party), Mr Anjala Aaron Wafula (Republican Liberty Party), Mr Wanyonyi Geoffrey Barazah (National Ordinary People Empowerment Union), Mr Barasa Elias (People’s Empowerment Party), Mr Makokha Enock Opara (Independent), Mr Masinde Julius (Independent), Mr Munoko Raidon Wekesa (Independent) and Mr Simiyu Fredrick Busolo (Vibrant Democracy Party).
Azimio coalition has been rallying for Mr Wamunyinyi to grab the seat from Kenya Kwanza who risk splitting their votes between Mr Mabonga and Mr Wakoli.
Mr Wetang'ula and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi have been holding rallies in support of Mr Wakoli and on Saturday the National Assembly Speaker said he was confident the Bungoma senatorial seat will go to the Ford-Kenya party.
"Musalia Mudavadi and I will be traversing across the nine constituencies of Bungoma drumming up support for Lion's party candidate Mwalimu David Wafula Wakoli. The Bungoma senate seat belongs to the Ford-Kenya party.
“Today I was accompanied by the Prime Cabinet Secretary, Hon. Musalia Mudavadi and other Western region leaders to meet and talk to the people of Bungoma on the upcoming Senatorial election. We visited various areas in the county to engage our people and urged them to elect the Ford-Kenya candidate David Wakoli Wafula,” said Mr Wetang’ula on his social media page.
“I was also delighted to officially receive Hon. Kelly Walubengo to Ford-Kenya, the Lion’s Party after defecting from UDP Party to join the second oldest Democratic Party in the country; the winning team….Mr Walubengo is a young focused leader who has chosen the correct path in politics. We welcome him to the Lion’s Party with open arms and ask him to be part of Ford-Kenya’s big family.”
He said he will always stand with the people of Bungoma.
“I sincerely thank my brother the Prime Cabinet Minister, Musalia Mudavadi for his dedicated leadership and continued support to the people of Bungoma and the Western region in general. Today we have shown our strength in unity and solidarity to deliver the senate seat to the right leadership of Mwalimu David Wakoli who we are confident will take Bungoma, the fourth largest county to greater heights,” read his post.
He urged Bungoma to remain united and exuded confidence they will elect a senator who will bring meaningful development to the county.