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HomeKenya NewsOPINION POLL: Khalwale, Barasa, Kutima most preferred candidate to succeed Oparanya in...

OPINION POLL: Khalwale, Barasa, Kutima most preferred candidate to succeed Oparanya in 2022 gubernatorial race

By Collins Matubwi

Kakamega

Kakamega County gubernatorial race is still attracting more aspirants from all walks of life who are seeking to inherit Governor Wycliffe Oparanya when he exits office in 2022.

More candidates are coming out to declare interest for the seat while others seems to have dropped their ambitions.

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Former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo, Mombasa based lawyer Leonard Shimaka and former 2017 gubernatorial aspirant on Kanu ticket Major Suleiman Sumba are the latest to declare their interest in the seat. Ikolomani MP has dropped out of the race.

The sample size was 2,500 but a total of 2,153 respondents from across the county participated in the poll. The study was conducted through telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews and filling of questionnaires.

Going by the latest opinion poll that was conducted between March 05- April 10 this year by the County Splash, an online news agency and a research firm. The residents are torn between who exactly can fit into Oparanya’s shoe.

Former Kakamega Senator Dr Boni Khalwale

The sample size was 2,500 but a total of 2,153 respondents from across the county participated in the poll. The study was conducted through telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews and filling of questionnaires.

From the research, Former Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale will be elected as governor to succeed Oparanya if elections were to be held today with 17.85 per cent (384 votes) voting in his favour followed by the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) Chief Executive Officer, Fernandes Barasa at 14.79 per cent (318 votes).

The study also focused on the reasons the respondents preferred a particular candidate while at the same time, they were required to name another candidate in case the aspirant of their choice does not make it to the ballot.

From the research, Former Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale will be elected as governor to succeed Oparanya if elections were to be held today with 17.85 per cent (384 votes) voting in his favour followed by the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) Chief Executive Officer, Fernandes Barasa at 14.79 per cent (318 votes).

Ketraco CEO FCPA Fernandes Barasa

Kakamega Deputy Governor Prof Philip Kutima would emerge position three at 14.21per cent (306 votes).

Lugari MP Ayub Savula would be position four with 12.17 per cent (262) of the total tallied votes followed by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala at 12.05 per cent (259 votes) and Prof. Amukoa Anangwe at the sixth position with 9.84 per cent (212 votes).

Former Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (Cecafa) Secretary General Nicholas Musonye would emerge at the seventh position with 2.37 per cent (51 votes), Kakamega County Assembly Clerk Laban Atemba at the eight position with 2.11 per cent (45 votes) and Sammy Omukoko at the ninth position with 1.92 per cent (41 votes).

Lawyer Michael Osundwa and Ex Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo  will be at the tenth position and eleventh positions with a vote tally of 1.17 per cent(25 votes) and 1.03 per cent(22 votes) respectively.

Mr. Leonard Shimaka would be at the twelfth position at 0.71 per cent (16 votes), Major Suleiman Sumbi with 0.69 per cent (15 votes) at the thirteenth position while the undecided represented 9.11 per cent (197 votes) of the sampled population.

DATA ANALYSIS

Hon. Bonny Khalwale

From the research, Khalwale has gained ground in the county despite his dalliance with Deputy President William Ruto and the United Democratic Party.

Khalwale has also activated his 2017 campaign network, which has already hit the ground and doing door-to-door campaigns in order to solidify his support base. Those who prefer Khalwale said they would vote for him regardless of his political affiliation.

Dr Bonny Khalwle

Some want Khalwale to join Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC party in order to be assured of a direct win since the party seems not to have a clear candidate for the gubernatorial seat. They want him to denounce DP Ruto.

His name is well spread in the county going by the fact that he emerged the first runners up to Oparanya in 2017 polls with over 135,000 votes, which are still intact.

Through the Barasa Foundation- a charitable organisation, he has been able to reach many people across the county and many perceive him to be a manager and not a politician like Khalwale and therefore the one who should succeed Oparanya.

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.

Khalwale also has a foot in Navakholo (53,620 voters), Malava (82,000 votes) and Khwisero (48,920 voters). He is yet to name his preferred running mate.

Hon. Fernandes Barasa

For Barasa, his main stronghold is in the rich Wanga voting block of Mumias East (45,380 voters), Mumias West (47,492 voters) and Matungu (61,728 voters). He also commands parts of Navakholo (53,620 voters) and Butere (62,956 voters).

Ketraco CEO FCPA Fernandes Barasa

Through the Barasa Foundation; a charitable organisation, he has been able to reach many people across the county and many perceive him to be a manager and not a politician.

Mr  Barasa has seen the formulation and launch of the Ketraco’s second five  year Strategic Plan.

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) shaking hands with Ketraco CEO Fernandes Barasa (right)at a past function

He has also overseen the completion of 132kV Kindaruma- Mwingi- Garissa, the energization of 220kV Rabai- Malindi- Garsen- Lamu line and  launched the 400kV Kenya- Tanzania Project and the recent ground breaking of Homabay Substation, part of the 132kV Sondu- Homabay- Awendo Transmission line project.

Other notable achievements include leasing of excess fibre to Safaricom and Jamii Telecommunications Company.

He has also been donating motorcycles to youth groups and supporting women groups across the county.

However, Prof. Amukoa Anangwe who has launched door-to-door campaigns despite 16 months remaining to the next polls has infiltrated his voting block as well as Mr. Laban Atemba, Michael Osundwa and Major Sumba who has declared interest in the seat.

Majority of the respondents feel that the southern part of the county has been in power under Governor Oparanya and therefore the Central and Northern regions want to be in power also.

Nabongo Peter Mumia (left) with Fernandes Barasa (right)

Barasa is yet to choose a formidable political party he intends to use and is negatively affecting his popularity in the county.

Barasa has also not picked a running mate, a choice that may affect his candidature either negatively or positively to his gubernatorial quest.

Hon. Prof. Philip Kutima (Deputy Governor)

Prof. Kutima is enjoying the support of Governor Oparanya who has endorsed him as his successor.

“I have worked very well with my Deputy for the period I have served as a governor. He understands my development agenda and he is the best leader to pick from where I would have stopped and move the county forward,” said Oparanya at a past function at Lukala Church of God in Malava where his deputy hails from.

Kakamega Deputy Governor Philip Kutima

Oparanya is also rallying Kutima’s the Kabras community to support him. “This is my deputy’s home; you should be the first people to give him unwavering support to make him more formidable to attract more backing from other sub counties,”

Oparanya endorses Kutima

Prof Kutima has a startup package of over 80,000 votes in his Malava backyard, Butere (62,956 voters), Khwisero (48,920 voters) and some parts of Navakholo and Lurambi constituencies.

He also has a presence in Likuyani and Mumias West. Being the county ODM Chairman, he higher chances of getting the party ticket for the seat.

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya (left) and his Prof. Deputy Philip Kutima (right)

Majority of those supporting Kutima’s candidature believe that he is best suited to replace Oparanya as Governor after the two worked together to deliver multi-billion flagship projects like the Bukhungu stadium, the new  750-bed capacity Kakamega County Teaching and Referral Hospital, opening of the road network in the entire county and the upcoming Malava Dairy Plant among others.

Kakamega Deputy Governor Philip Kutima at a campaign rally

Kutima is yet to reach out to the voters for support neither do others know him well.

He is perceived to be a conservative man who lacks the political charisma to influence voters

Hon Ayub Savula (Lugari MP)

Savula’s name is well spread in the county and can commands a following in his Lugari and Likuyani that has 77,001 voters and Likuyani 63,311 voters going by the 2017 polls.

Lugari MP Ayub Savula

Savula has also infiltrated into Prof. Kutima’s backyard of Malava, Matungu, Mumias East, Navakholo and Shinyalu.

Being the Deputy Party Leader of ANC, he has higher chances of being nominated to fly the party ticket but he (Savula) is facing a tough balancing act from Senator Cleophas Malala and Prof Amukoa Anangwe who are also eyeing the ANC party ticket.

Lugari MP Ayub Savula

Savula must reach consensus with Malala and Prof Anangwe on who should go for the gubernatorial seat failure to which their divisions will split ANC party and end up losing the seat for the third time in a row.

Hon. Cleophas Malala

Senator Malala is gaining momentum and going by the polls, he is gaining support in Malava, Lugari, Likuyani, Mumias East, Mumias West and Matungu. Infact, Malala got many votes in Matungu as per poll.

This is after he pitched camp in the constituency during the Matungu by elections and delivered the seat back to ANC. Peter Nabulindo, the ANC candidate defeated ODM’s David Were in the by election.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala

According to the respondents, if Malala will have resources and mount a campaign similar to what ANC party mounted in Matungu, he is a candidate to watch who should not be wished away.

Malala’s loyalty to the party after divorcing ODM leader Raila Odinga has also added him political mileage in the county..

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala

He has reached to many youths across the county courtesy of the annual Cleo Malala cup as well as his oratory skills. 

His biggest undoing is his frosty relationship with Ayub Savula. The two want to catch Mudavadi’s eye so that he may endorse them to fly ANC party ticket in Kakamega.

If they will not agree on time on who to be the flagbearer, both of them may loose in the race.

Prof. Amukoa Anangwe

His name is well known in the county after he served as Health Cabinet Minister in the Kanu regime between 1997-2002.

Prof. Amukoa Anangwe

Anangwe is a distinguished professor of political science and this gives him an impetus to the rest of the candidates since he knows what to do to win the seat. He is a close ally Musalia Mudavadi.

He has laid down political strategies, which have started paying off. Anangwe is slowly gaining a huge support base in Matungu, Mumias West, Butere, Mumias East, Khwisero, Likuyani, Navakholo and Lurambi.

Prof. Amukoa Anangwe

Atemba hails from Matungu and enjoys the support of current ODM MCAs at the Kakamega County Assembly. The 2017 campaign network of Governor Oparanya also favours his candidature and if he get hold of it, he too will pull a surprise.

Nicholas Musonye has some support among the sports fanatics. He comes from the third most populous community of Isukha and Idakho. He is also well endowed with resources.

Nicholas Musonye

Laban Atemba, the Kakamega County Assembly Clerk is financially stable and therefore has the capacity to launch a spirited gubernatorial campaign.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya (centre), Laban Atemba (Clerk) (right) and Moris Buluma (Speaker) at the Assembly Presmises.

Atemba hails from Matungu and enjoys the support of current ODM MCAs at the Kakamega County Assembly. The 2017 campaign network of Governor Oparanya also favours his candidature and if he get hold of it, he too will pull a surprise.

Many believe Atemba is best suited to lead the county given that he has the same educational background like that of Governor Oparanya.

Voters want Michael Osundwa, Leonard Shimaka, Cyrus Jirongo and Suleiman Sumba to drop their ambitions and support one of the top candidates in the race or go for other seats.

Nairobi City Lawyer Michael Osundwa

According to Robinson Abuyeka, a political analyst and lecturer of Economics, Prof Amukoa Anangwe is the only sober gubernatorial candidate in ANC party.

He says that though an influential party, the party risks failing to ascend to power if Ayub Savula and Cleophas malala are it’s only hopeful candidates.

Abuyeka however says that the Deputy Governor Prof Philip Kutima and Khalwale are in a better position to clinch to power as compared to other candidates who he says are politically naive and overexcited about their personal renunciations which aren’t commensurate to political demands.

End

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