By Daraja Binyenya.
The 2022 political chessboard of Bungoma and TransNzoia counties continues to be attractive especially after the BBI was dealt a blow by the high court.Political re-positionings are happening even as the appeal and verdict at the higher courts is awaited.
In Bungoma county, Senator Moses Wetang’ula seems to have settled on Senate speaker Kenneth Lusaka to run for Governor on Ford-Kenya ticket. Wetang’ula, who had made up his mind to go for the Kabuchai seat and seek a powerful cabinet position under BBI arrangements is said to be considering to run for senate seat.
Dr.Mukhwana has been salivating at the Ford-K senate ticket but the ever changing political matrix seem to be complicating his chances.The Ford-Kenya ticket in Bungoma will largely be influenced by Wetang’ula and Lusaka at the apex.
ODM on the other hand is presenting Westlands MP Hon.Tim Wanyonyi for the gubernatorial seat and the Kenya Ambassador to DRC Dr. George Masafu for senate seat. According to reliable sources,a decision for Hon.Tim Wanyonyi to vie for the Bungoma top seat was arrived at in a meeting attended by ODM top brass in Karen two weeks ago.
Ambassador Masafu,a key Odinga ally, is already engaging in various philanthropic projects in Bungoma in a move seen as strategic positioning before the official launch for the senate bid.The re-branded ODM brigade in Bungoma is therefore expected to be led by Hon.Tim Wanyonyi and Ambassador George Masafu.
Governor Wycliffe Wangamati is said to be seeking re-election on DAP-K,a party associated with CS Eugene Wamalwa. This is due to his fallout with Seantor Moses Wetang’ula in the yet to be resolved Ford kenya wrangle.
In TransNzoia, the battle for governor took a new turn with the entry of Rift valley Regional commissioner George Natembeya in the race. He is largely expected to run on DAP-K if plans by Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa to run for Kiminini seat and seek a national position under BBI remain. Pundits say that Natembeya is just preparing the way for Hon. Eugene Wamalwa who is set to run for the seat.
Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa will run on Ford-Kenya in a battle that is expected to be bruising. If CS Wamalwa declares his bid for governor, a battle royale is expected with CS Eugene having an upper hand based on his soft and humble leadership skills as compared to the combative Chris.
Political Pundits are pointing to an ODM/FK/DAP-K competition in the two counties.
Major re-alignments are expected at the national level and no doubt the ramifications will reverberate to the county level.
The Author is a political scientist,scholar and lecturer at the Institute of Development studies,Mount Kenya university.