Story by Paul Mukana
The Kakamega gubernatorial race has taken a cyclonical turn as opponents have accelerated a war of words in tussle for votes.
Apparently, it is a two horse race bidding senator Cleophas Malala of ANC and former KETRACO boss Fernandez Barasa who is affiliated to ODM party.
Dr.Bonny Khalwale, an ardent hit man of the Kenya Kwanza brigade is the latest to accuse Fernandez Barasa.
“If Fernandez Barasa wins,and I will be in the Senate, I will say that when I was in Khaunga, there was no electricity because he had stolen the electricity money.So, while in the Senate I will sue him to bring back that money so that we go back to the ballot.So if you vote for Fernandez Barasa,we will go back to the ballot because we will arrest him for stealing electricity money. Do you want us to go to a by election?,” Khalwale exclaimed.
He was speaking at a Cleophas Malala campaign rally in Khaunga , Mumias East sub county on Monday evening.
Khalwale defended his decision of stepping down for Malala in the gubernatorial bid and warned Barasa not to celebrate yet.
According to Khalwale, Barasa lacks the credentials of becoming the second Kakamega governor because he always stays in Nairobi.
“Fernandez Barasa listen to me, you have lived in Nairobi all your life, you haven’t lived here in Mumias East.You’ve made the decision of being governor but you should go and vie in Nairobi because all your life is based there,” he said.
Khalwale is lobbying for a second comeback in the Senate after serving between 2013-2017.
He doubles up as a DP Ruto’s ardent lieutenant in the western region and has keep campaigning for Ruto’s presidential bid.
Khalwale accelerated his attacks on Barasa by claiming he is a project and doesn’t understand the people’s problems.
“When you go to Barasa’s home in Matungu, the gate is closed and there’s a big dog by KK security, with a perimeter wall , electric fence and CCTV cameras; that’s exactly what happens in Nairobi’s poshy homes for tycoons.So Barasa my brother I beg your pardon,go to Nairobi, go there because we don’t know you here,” he added.
Fernandez Barasa acted as the managing director of the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) for over 15 years.
Political pundits have opined that Barasa is Oparanya’s preferred choice and has been handed a direct ODM ticket.
In what seemed a direct onslaught to governor Wickliffe Oparanya, the outspoken Khalwale also accused the governor for failing to revive the doomed Mumias Sugar factory.
He vowed to scheme a cold war with Oparanya to sue him for allegedly collaborating with Raila in looting sugarcane farmers’ money.
On his part, Malala expressed confidence of clinching the Kakamega gubernatorial seat.
Other leaders present were Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali alongside other area leaders.
Malala is serving his first term as senator and will be hoping to become one of Kenya’s youngest governors in August.