ODM, Ford-K pick mini polls candidates
Yusuf Masibo and Dennis Lumiti
Outspoken Bungoma politician Majimbo Kalasinga will carry the Ford Kenya flag in the Kabuchai mini-polls while former MP David Were will be the Orange Democratic Movement candidate for the Matungu contest.
The Kabuchai and Matungu by-elections will be held on March 4.
ODM reached the decision to hand Were a direct ticket following a consultative meeting chaired by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya in Bungoma last week.
ODM Kakamega county chairman Philip Kutima said the party would unveil Were to Matungu residents in a ceremony to be held at his home in the constituency.
“Were will be a formidable candidate because he served as the area MP from 2002 to 2017,” said Kutima, who is also the Kakamega Deputy Governor.
Were who vied on a Jubilee ticket in 2017 and came a distant third with 8,000 votes behind he late MP Justus Murunga who got 18,000 and Ford Kenya’s (now an ANC candidate) Peter Nabulindo who had 10,000 . He was later appointed Kenya Broadcasting Corporation board chairman.
On the other hand, Kalasinga was declared winner in hotly-contested Ford Kenya primaries held yesterday.
He defeated Nakuru East deputy county commissioner Eric Wanyonyi after days of lobbying.
Ford Kenya director of elections Khadija Mustafa, said the nomination which was conducted through delegates was tight with only three spoilt votes. Majimbo won with 70 votes while Wanyonyi garnered 32.
Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetangula was the last man to vote in the nominations held early morning. The delegates were drawn from Mukuyuni, Chwele/Kabuchai, Luhya/Bwake and West Nalondo wards, each producing 26 delegates.
“I would like to thank all delegates who exercised their rights by voting for me.
I would like to also thank Wetangula for giving me a chance to face other contestants in the by-election,” he said.
Majimbo expressed confidence that he will emerge winner in the mini-poll. Wetang’ula congratulated Wanyonyi for accepting defeat and asked him to support Majimbo.
“We want a leader who will step into the shoes of the late MP James Lusweti. We will have only two candidates in the race and will fight to ensure Ford Kenya wins,” he said.
In Matungu, Oparanya will be out to prove his might while Amani National Congress (ANC) Musalia Mudavadi leader be seeking to stamp his authority as the Luyhia kingpin.
Wetang’ula said his Ford-Kenya party will not field a candidate in Matungu and will instead rally behind ANC’s Peter Nabulindo “in the spirit of brotherhood”.