With less than seven months to go before the August 9 general election, the political field is in full swing and politicians are eyeing various seats, some of which have attracted more interest than others, setting the stage for fierce competition.
In every election cycle, the race for the presidency receives the most attention, of course due to the currency associated with the top seat and the vast resources expended on campaigns.
The country’s western Kenya, previously seen as a stronghold of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, will be a battleground in the upcoming elections, according to Supreme Court Counsel and Counsel Peter Wanyama
“Politics in western Kenya has now taken on a stable dimension: there are two factions.
Team A: Mudavadi, Wetangula, Malala, Khalwale and Dr. Chris Wamalwa and Didmus Barasa.
Team B: Opananya, Ayub Sabula, Kenneth Marende, Eugene Wamalwa, Wangamati Wycliffe and the real Natembeya
Bottom line: Western Kenya is a political battlefield,” he explained.
Vice President William Ruto, Amani National Congress (ANC) Chair Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula recently reached a coalition agreement to have a joint presidential ticket under the Kenya Kwanza Coalition, which could complicate the matrix for Odinga’s bid despite his past influence in the region.
However, the formation of the Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K), led by Devolution’s Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, was widely seen as a plan to help win the most coveted Luhya votes to give Odinga’s fifth stab in the presidency to boost.
Interestingly, the governor of Kakamega and ODM deputy party leader Wycliffe Oparanya and Wamalwa will not be competing for a position, but sources within their ranks claim that the last term district chief and the CS are seeking appointments in the Azimio government become, hence their unwavering support for Odinga.
The most challenging task for Oparanya now is to ensure that he delivers the community to Raila as a bloc and also negotiates for the interests of the region should the ODM honcho take power now that he is the spokesman for Luhya.
The opposition leader once enjoyed an almost fanatical following in 2007 and 2013.
However, the ruling Jubilee party made progress in 2017, winning more MPs and MCAs – due to the merger of western parties like the UDF and New Ford Kenya.