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HomeKenya NewsOpinion Poll: Fernandes Barasa, Savula top contestants in Kakamega 2022 gubernatorial race

Opinion Poll: Fernandes Barasa, Savula top contestants in Kakamega 2022 gubernatorial race


By Collins Matubwi

Kakamega County gubernatorial race has narrowed down to three contestants going by the latest opinion polls ahead of the 2022 general elections.

The candidates are seeking to replace outgoing Governor Wycliffe Oparanya whose second term is almost over.

The opinion poll was conducted between September 5 – October 15 this year by the County Splash, an online news agency and research firm.

From the research, The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) Managing Director FCPA Fernandes Barasa would be elected as governor to succeed Oparanya if elections were to be held today with 29.73 per cent (673votes) followed by Lugari Member of Parliament Ayub Angatia Savula (ANC) at 23.67 per cent (535votes).

 The targeted sample size was 2,500 people but 2,261 respondents across the county participated in the poll. The margin of error was -1 and +1. The study was conducted through telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews and filling of questionnaires.

Ketraco MD FCPA Fernandes Barasa

The study focused on the reasons the respondents preferred a particular candidate while at the same time, their second best alternative candidate if their choice is not on the ballot.

From the research, The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) Managing Director FCPA Fernandes Barasa would be elected as governor to succeed Oparanya if elections were to be held today with 29.73 per cent (673votes) followed by Lugari Member of Parliament Ayub Angatia Savula (ANC) at 23.67 per cent (535votes).

Kakamega Deputy Governor Prof Philip Kutima (ODM) would come fifth at 9.03 per cent (204 votes) while former Butere MP Prof Amukoa Anangwe (ANC) will emerge position six at 3.01 per cent (68 votes)

Former Kakamega Senator Dr Bonny Khalwale (UDA) would be at the third position at 15.11per cent (341votes) followed by Senator Cleophas Malala (ANC) at the fourth position at 13.07 per cent (295 votes).

Lugari MP Ayub Savula

Kakamega Deputy Governor Prof Philip Kutima (ODM) would come fifth at 9.03 per cent (204 votes) while former Butere MP Prof Amukoa Anangwe (ANC) will emerge position six at 3.01 per cent (68 votes)

 Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito Mugali (ODM) at 1.03 per cent (23 votes) of the respondents while Kakamega County Assembly Clerk Laban Atemba and Sammy Omukoko were at the eighth and ninth positions respectively. Atemba had 0.97 per cent (22 votes) while Sammy Omukoko was at 0.11 per cent (2 votes).


Leonard Shimaka was at the tenth position with 0.07 per cent (1 vote). The number of undecided voters was (95) which represented 4.20 per cent of the total respondents.  


FCPA Fernandes Barasa

Fernandes Barasa has a sweeping influence across the county through the Barasa foundation, which is well known and felt amongst all residents as per the respondents.

According to the respondents, the charitable activities of the foundation which includes constructions of houses to the vulnerable, paying of school fees to needy students, buying of motorcycles to boda boda groups, sporting activities, talent appraisal initiatives through Barasa talent academy and the latest free eye medical camp has put him above the rest.

Fernandes Barasa

Barasa is however the only aspirant who has well designed and managed political structures up to the grass root level ranging from professional groups, administrative, religious, and the lay, something that elates his name the more.

 He is controlling the Wanga voting bloc of Mumias East (45,380 voters), Mumias West (47,492 voters) and Matungu (61,728 voters).

He also has a following in Likuyani constituency, Khwisero constituency and Butere constituency.

He also commands parts of Navakholo, Shinyalu, Lurambi and Lugari constituencies.

Barasa interacting players who participated in Barasa Foundation Tournament

As a two term, serving Managing Director of Kenya’s large voltage electricity transmission company (KETRACO) and his rich managerial profile in oil and energy sector that earned him the Order of Grand Warrior award (OGW), Barasa is perceived as a manager enough to entrust contrary to his opponents.

According to many respondents, the development record of the outgoing governor Wycliffe Oparanya leaves Kakamega voters with the desire for an ‘Oparanya’ kind of governor; regardless of a political party attributes evident in Fernandes Barasa.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ketraco MD Fernandes Barasa

However, Barasa may face the challenge of where and who to identify as his running mate and also risks streamlining the Wanga community vote if his main opponents chooses an influential running mate from the region.

Hon Ayub Savula (Lugari MP)

Savula is so far the undebatable face of the Mudavadi led ANC party in Kakamega gubernatorial race. He is a go-getter who rarely tires in his political strive. Savula enjoys the goodwill of ANC party, which is the most popular in the county.

He is a team player who has successfully attracted support from at least five legislators out the 12 legislators in the county including ANC and Jubilee elected members of the national assembly in the region.

Francis Atwoli (left), Lugari MP Ayub Savula (centre) and Joel Okwako (right) at a past function

They are Malulu Injendi (Malava), Benard Shinali (Ikolomani), Chris Aseka Miradi (Khwisero), Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo) and Tindi Mwale among others.

With such a network of influential leaders in the county, it puts him a step ahead of his opponents.

Ayub Savula at a campaign rally

He is likely to pick a running mate from the largest clan of the Wanga (Abashitstse) which may earn him value against his main opponent FCPA Fernandes Barasa from the very community.

His name is well spread in the county and may attract a lot of support from ANC supporters, his backyard of Lugari , Shinyalu, Navakholo, Malava, Lurambi, Mumias east and partly Butere and Khwisero.

Ayub Savula

Savula faces a tough balancing act from Senator Cleophas Malala and Prof Amukoa Anangwe who are eyeing the ANC party ticket.

He must reach a 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. Bonny Khalwale

The charismatic and admired lawmaker can never be ignored in any political arithmetic.

Former Kakamega Senator Dr Boni Khalwale

However, his popularity has gone down in relation to his dalliance to the Deputy President William Ruto’s  UDA party which has a rough and an unpopular reception in the county with only one MP; Benjamin Washiali, of Mumias East remaining in the party.

Boni Khalwale (left) and Deputy President William Ruto (right)

According to many respondents, their love for Khalwale started diminishing the moment he started turning against his words and became a close ally to those he often condemned.

To them this is the least they ever expected from him, ‘he was a man of his words’. Those who support Khalwale says they will support him regardless of his political party.

However many of the respondents want Khalwale to join Musalia Mudavadi does ANC party in order to be assured of a resounding victory. They want him to denounce DP Ruto. Many however preferred him to reclaim his senatorial seat.

Boni Khalwale with UDA supporters

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.

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. Cleophas Malala

Senator Malala is gaining momentum and going by the polls, he is gaining support in Malava, Lugari, Likuyani, and Matungu.

This is after he pitched campaigns in the Matungu 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.

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and 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.

He has reached to many youths across the county courtesy of the annual Cleo Malala cup.

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.

Cleo Malala super cup

If they will not agree on time on who to be the flagbearer, both of them may lose in the race. Malala is a controversial politician an attribute that denies him loyalty and trust from voters.

Hon. Prof. Philip Kutima (Deputy Governor)

Prof Kutima has a startup package of over 80,000 votes in his Malava backyard if they all declare to stand by their own.

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

He was dealt a blow after he was stripped off the ODM county chairman seat  and replaced by Shinyalu MP Kizito Mugali. Most of his party officials and affiliates have shifted their support to Fernandes Barasa who is yet to declare his political party.

Philip Kutima

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

 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 and the MP for Butere constituency who defeated the historic Martin Shikuku.

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 of 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.

Hon Kizito Mugalia

Respondents who were reached in Shinyalu claimed that Kizito Mugali was not sincere with his gubernatorial quest and that he intends to run for Shinyalu parliamentary seat again.

Shinyalu MP Kizito Mugalia

A few who supported him claim that they support him because he was either their very own or their party chairman.

Hon Laban Atemba

The Kakamega County Assembly Clerk is yet to break the shell of his gubernatorial intentions in the county.

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

Atemba hails from Matungu and enjoys part of the support of current ODM MCAs at the Kakamega County Assembly. Many of the respondents claim that he is objected to dividing Fernandes Barasa’s votes in the region.

 Leonard Shimaka from and the CRB founder; Sammy Omukoko from Khwisero are yet to lay bare credence of their political engagements.




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