Oparanya, Malala not taking chance in Matungu vote hunt

Monday, January 18th, 2021 00:00 |
Former Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya. Photo/PD/VIOLA KOSOME

Dennis Lumiti

Campaigns for the Matungu parliamentary seat intensified at the weekend with Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Senator Cleophas Malala pitching for votes for their respective candidates.

Oparanya urged Matungu residents to vote for their former MP David Were-who is the ODM candidate in the by-elections slated for March 4. 

The governor said Were has the experience needed to spur development in the constituency.

He also said a vote for Were, was directly supporting his ambition to seek a higher seat in the 2022 General Election.

“Were has served you for three terms and I am sure he knows what ails this constituency and will act fast once sworn in,” the governor told the residents when he held public rallies at Harambee market and Ebusambe and Mukhweya primary schools.

Oparanya who was accompanied by his deputy Philip Kutima, two ODM MPs and MCAs allied to the Orange party, said all eyes were on him to see whether he will deliver the seat.

Kakamega Woman Rep Elsie Muhanda and Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito said ODM’s victory would be a boost to the governor’s future political ambitions.

“I am eyeing a top political seat and a win for Were will a big score for me. I have come here to request you to support my ambition by delivering this seat to ODM. A win for Were is a win for Oparanya,” said the governor.

Were said if given the opportunity, he will complete development projects started by Justus Murunga; who died in November last year.

Serious campaign

He thanked Oparanya and ODM party for the support, saying he will roll out a serious campaign to reach majority of the voters to support his bid.

But leading parallel campaign rallies in the constituency, Malala termed Were as “a spent cartridge” saying he had nothing new to offer.

“How can he convince Matungu residents that he will accomplish in less than two years, what he failed to do during his 15 years reign?” he said while campaigning for the ANC candidate Peter Oscar Nabulindo.

The senator said Mumias Sugar Company, which was the lifeline of Matungu residents, collapsed when Were was the MP and Oparanya as governor.

He said the residents rejected Were in 2017 because they were tired of him and that it was only fair to “let them completely forget about the former MP.”

He said Kakamega was an ANC stronghold and told their opponents to prepare for defeat.

Malala accused Oparanya of being used by outsiders to fight ANC Party leader Musalia Mudavadi’s political ambitions.

“We know they are out to fight and humiliate Musalia in the hope that it will work against his ambitions to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta. But I tell them that they will fail miserably,” he said.

Nabulindo said he had remained in the constituency even after he lost to Murunga in 2017, thus, he understood the problems afflicting the residents.

“Many of those who lost to my brother Murunga went underground, some even carted away everything from their homes and relocated to elsewhere while I remained on the ground lending support where I could.

They have now resurfaced asking for votes. They think Matungu residents are fools,” he said.

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