By Wilson Abiri and Collins Matubwi
- Dr Khalwale still ahead of the rest but has dropped points
- Senator Malala and Savula’s support is quickly waning
- Fernandes Barasa candidature now gaining momentum
- Fernandes out to consolidate the rich Wanga voting block with Laban Atemba and Mr Osundwa
- Amukoa Anangwe, a professor of political science has no support base
- Governor Oparanya is yet to name successor
Governor Wycliffe Oparanya is remaining with only two financial years before exiting the stage as the founding Governor of Kakamega.
With the clock trickling towards the 2022 General Elections, a total of 12 candidates have declared their candidature in a heated race to succeed Governor Oparanya who is working behind the scenes to become either a Cabinet Secretary or Deputy Prime Minister as his retirement package.
Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale is still a favorite candidate to succeed Oparanya if the recent Opinion Polls that was commissioned by the County Splash, an online news platform is anything to go by.
The polls were conducted between February 25th – March 15th 2020 across the county where 4,724 people were reached through telephone interviews, online survey, impromptu interviews and through filling questionnaires.
If governorship elections were to be held today, then Khalwale (Jubilee Party) will become the second Governor of Kakamega with 16.892 per cent (798 votes) of the total votes tally followed by Fernandes Barasa, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) with 16.701 per cent (789 votes).
In last polls that were released in January this year, Khalwale was leading the pack with 18.09 per cent. He has dropped points with 1.198 per cent. The margin difference between Khalwale and Fernandes was 0.191 per cent. In the last polls, Fernandes was ranked fifth with 10.2 per cent.
Kakamega Deputy Governor, Prof. Philip Kutima was still ranked at position three with 14.521 per cent (686 votes) of the total votes tallied.
Lugari MP Ayub Savula was ranked fourth in the opinion polls with 13.103 per cent (619 votes). Savula was ranked second in the last polls and had 17.36 per cent. This shows that his support is quickly waning.
Senator Cleophas Malala was fifth with 11.706 per cent (553 votes). In the last polls, he was ranked fourth with 14.487 per cent.
Former Cecafa Secretary General Nicholas Musonye was sixth with 4.213 per cent (199 votes) followed by Kakamega County Assembly Clerk, Laban Atemba at the seventh position with 3.895 per cent (184 votes).
Ikolomani MP Bernard Shinali was position eight with 2.095 per cent (132 votes) and was closely followed by Nairobi City lawyer Michael Osundwa with 2.095 per cent (99 votes). Prof. Amukoa Anangwe and Sammy Amukoko tied at position 9 with 1.989 per cent each (94 votes).
Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito Mugalia was eleventh with 1.905 per cent (90 votes) whereas those who were undecided were 384.
Majority of the sampled population still believe that Khalwale can still become next Kakamega Governor if he renounces his dalliance with Deputy President William Ruto. His name is a brand in the county and more so, he comes from the third most populous community of Idakho and Isukha in Ikolomani and Shinyalu sub counties with 49,899 voters and 71,256 registered voters respectively as per the 2017 elections.
He also enjoys support in sections of Lurambi Sub County with 80,037 voters. Khalwale also enjoys support in Navakholo Sub County where his second wife comes from with over 53,620 registered voters.
Mr. Fernandes who is endowed with resources comes from the vote rich Wanga block of Mumias East (45,380 voters), Mumias West (47,492 voters) and Matungu (61,728 voters).
Fernandes, as the CEO of Ketraco and given his outstanding leadership in corporate management, he enjoys cordial relationship with President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga, ANC’s Musalia Mudavadi, Governor Oparanya as well as Ford Kenya boss Moses Wetang’ula. Currently, he enjoys the support of four sitting MPs and seven aspirants seeking parliamentary seats.
Deputy Governor Prof Kutima enjoys the support in Malava Sub County with over 82,000 votes as well as Butere (62,956 voters) and Khwisero (48,920 voters) owing to the relationship with Governor Oparanya.
For Savula, he got huge following in Lugari (77,001 voters) and Likuyani (63,311 voters) as well as some parts of Malava. His ongoing corruption case is also working against his candidature as well as the ‘Being a mnyore’ tag.
Senator Malala, enjoys the support of the youths across the county but of late his association with Raila is working against him. Mr. Musonye (Ex Cecafa boss) has a huge following among the sports fanatics. He also comes from the third most populous community of Isukha and Idakho. He is also well endowed with resources.
For Atemba, he is financial stable and comes from Matungu constituency,which is part of Wanga voting block. He also enjoys the support of a section of the current ODM MCAs at the Kakamega County Assembly.
Mr. Shinali the Ikolomani MP should try the senate seat of defend his MP seat. This is according to the polled voters. They say he is out to spoil Khalwale’s chances of succeeding Oparanya given that they came from the same area. For Osundwa, voters want him to retire from politics and support either Fernandes or Atemba for the governorship seat.
The voters also feel, Prof Anangwe should retire from politics while Amukoko should try going Khwisero MP seat since he is still a greenhorn in politics. They also want Kizito Mugalia to defend his Shinyalu MP seat and stop biting a bullet he cannot swallow.
Note: An opinion poll on who is the preferred Women Representative and the most popular youths in Kakamega will be out next week.