Kakamega ANC aspirants headache for Mudavadi
Amani National Congress (ANC) Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi faces a major headache due to the high number of close allies seeking the various political seats in Kakamega County ahead of the 2022 General-Election.
ANC has so far attracted the highest number of aspirants eyeing the seats of governor, MPs and Ward Reps.
There are fears of a fallout within the party over claims doing rounds that some aspirants are favoured.
The biggest battle is the Kakamega gubernatorial seat where ANC has, so far, attracted three aspirants, all close associates of the party boss.
Senator Cleophas Malalah, Lugari MP Ayub Savula and former Co-operatives Minister Prof Amukowa Anangwe are currently embroiled in a battle royale.
Savula was initially viewed as ANC’s automatic flag-bearer but the entry of Malalah and Prof Anangwe into the race for the party’s ticket has complicated the equation.
Malalah was elected senator on the ANC ticket in 2017 but immediately aligned himself to Orange leader Raila Odinga before they differed and he returned to Mudavadi’s fold.
Oparanya political nemesis
Anangwe has been teaching Political Science at Dodoma University in Tanzania but is back and vigorously seeking to succeed his former political nemesis Wycliffe Oparanya.
The governor is backing his deputy Philip Kutima.
It is however not clear if Prof Kutima will vie for the seat on the Orange party’s ticket. The deputy governor is under pressure to join ANC.
So far, several sitting MPs, including Emmanuel Wangwe of Navakholo, Benard Shinali of Ikolomani and Malava’s Malulu Injendi have shifted their allegiance from DP William Ruto to Mudavadi.
Kutima hails from Malava which has the highest number of voters in the county and where Mudavadi commands following to nearly the last person.
There has been speculation that the party may have already settled on candidates. Kakamega has 12 constituencies and a majority, if not all, lean towards the ANC/Mudavadi fold.
As at now, no aspirant has publicly declared their interest to vie for a seat on the ODM ticket.
For instance, in Ikolomani, Shinali is seeking to defend his seat on the ANC ticket.
However, he will have to battle with Vincent Mukhono, who is the ODM sub-branch chairman and county treasurer, besides businessmen Antony Makwaka and David Liyayi. Mukhono has distanced himself from ODM.
In Shinyalu, a majority of the over 10 aspirants are eyeing the ANC ticket to gun for the parliamentary seat.
In Lurambi, the battle for ANC ticket is between area MP Titus Khamala, Prof Stanley Khainga, a celebrated plastic surgeon and businessman Fred Ikana. All are close associates of Mudavadi.
But speaking to People Daily, Ikana dismissed claims that he had already been handed the party’s ticket to vie in the constituency.
“Some of my opponents are busy making noise with claims that I already have the ANC ticket. I urge them to concentrate on galvanising for support the way I am doing,” he said.
The businessman is one of Mudavadi’s closest associates and an ANC insider.
Anthony Makwaka, who is seeking the party’s ticket in Ikolomani, said they would remain united behind Mudavadi no matter the outcome of the nominations.
“We are after quality leadership right from the Ward to the national level, which is why we shall be campaigning as a team during and after nominations.
Fall-outs are normal but we shall work to make sure they do not weaken the party and our presidential candidate,” he said.
Malulu’s decision to join Mudavadi’s bandwagon has complicated matters for other aspirants such as Kabras West MCA David Ndakwa and businessman Saidi Khasavuli.
This is the same scenario in Lugari, Likuyani, Mumias East, Matungu and Navakholo.