There is talk in Bungoma county that senate speaker Ken Lusaka and the pioneer governor of the county will be eyeing to reclaim his former seat come 2022. However, the third in command in Kenya’s political terrain has kept many guessing if he will go for the governorship.
The ground now favours him. Political pundits close to Moses Wetang’ula have confided to Weekly Citizen that Wetang’ula team has resolved to back the former governor with whom they have been seen together at funerals and other public functions in Bungoma county. This change of heart by Wetang’ula confirms the fact that in politics, there are no permanent enemies but only interests. As the feuding Ford-Kenya teams battle it out both in courts and through psychological warfare among the population, Wetang’ula has been putting up together groups of people he hopes to create as a coalition with in his spirited attempt to hold on to the party leadership flag. In recent times, following his orchestrated ouster, he has and continuously operated with a number of people from other parties as a way of fighting back the onslaught of his secretary-general who is also Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu and self-declared Ford Kenya leader and Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi.
In Kanduyi constituency, it seems Wetang’ula is working with Wamunyinyi’s opponent, former Bungoma county assembly speaker John Makali, with the hope that he can disable Wamunyinyi’s political ambitions in a constituency the incumbent has served for over 20 years. In Tongaren constituency which is represented by Simiyu, the Ford Kenya secretary-general in Wamunyinyi’s camp, Wetang’ula is said to be fronting John Chikati. In the meantime, as the struggle for Ford-Kenya leadership continues, eyes are set on the post of the governor for Bungoma come 2022 elections. In this area, there are developing alliances among those who are scheming to oust Governor Wycliffe Wangamati as Wetang’ula is said to be at the forefront of those burning the midnight oil to have a new Bungoma governor. Wangamati will obviously be defending his seat.
The governor will be banking on his first tenure in office to woo voters. The 2022 Bungoma governor politics might also end up again shaping to a Lusaka-Wangamati race, just like in 2017. In 2022, there are chances Lusaka will be back at the county to settle scores with Wangamati and it will be interesting to watch how it will unfold. However, political observers argue that Lusaka remains among favoruite politicians to unseat the incumbent in 2022 owing to his political experience and exposure. The former governor also boasts of wide political networks in the country’s top political circles. Wangamati has thrown his weight behind constitutional amendments being pushed by the Building Bridges Initiative and urged Kenyans to support it. Bungoma county is currently dominated by Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement and the governing Jubilee Party with some MPs tilting towards William Ruto who has attracted the support of six lawmakers from the county and has been rallying to make inroads in the county.
The Luhya community has been cautioned to either learn to keep secrets or forget the presidency. Senator Wetang’ula noted that whereas other tribes in the country keep their political moves secret the Luhya always tell of their plans even before they could start working on it. “We are enemies of our own because we tell about our plans even before we are asked and this gives room to our rivals to check and make us irrelevant,” he said. Speaking in Trans Nzoia county during a funeral, the Ford Kenya party leader noted that keeping secrets until the last minute denied the enemy time to retreat and reorganize themselves.
He cited the Kalenjin, Kikuyu and Somalis as some who can choose to be sacrificed so long as they know their top secret will remain intact. On the attempted removal from the opposition party leadership, Wetang’ula likened himself to a crocodile in deep waters which could not be easily pulled out to the ground. He said Wamunyinyi had no capacity to lead Ford Kenya Party but had been sent by his enemies to embarrass and portray him as an unpopular leader. He reminded his Bukusu people to be aware of plans by outsiders to divide and weaken them wherever the general elections approached. “As for Raila Odinga, we have supported him in 2013 and 2017 polls, and if he cares then, he should also support one of us,” he said. After the removal of Wetang’ula, he moved to court which reinstated him pending the hearing and determination of the suit.