By Paul Mukana
Bungoma county gubernatorial candidate Zachariah Baraza has noted that discomfort and continuous frustrations were the main reasons why he ditched the Kenya Kwanza coalition.
Baraza will be vying for the gubernatorial race as an independent candidate under the slogan ‘Maskini Kwanza’.
“I had already cleared the UDA’s nomination fees to run as the governor but because Kenya Kwanza has frustrated me, I will not go back to them, let me move on as an independent candidate,” Barasa said.
The outspoken politician was speaking at a function in Upendo area,Maeni ward, Kimilili constituency.
Apparently, he poured cold water on Kenya Kwanza’s decision to support Ford Kenya’s Kenneth Lusaka who came on board late.
Sources had indicated that there had been a closed door agreement between UDA and Ford Kenya and UDA wasn’t going to field candidates in some areas of western Kenya.
Thus, Zachariah Barasa’s bid was thwarted by the simmering political arithmetic.
Barasa explained why lack of political cohesion pushed him to go for an independent ticket.
He believes he possess the requisite charisma to muddle the political space of Bungoma county and defeat both incumbent governor Wickliffe Wangamati of DAP-K and former governor Kenneth Lusaka of Ford Kenya.
Efforts by a section of Kenya Kwanza’s bureaucrats to convince Barasa to step down for Lusaka bore no fruits.
Barasa believes that he will win and bring tremendous social-economic change in the county.
Among his top priorities is building a technical institution in each subcounty and upgrading the Kimilili sub county hospital into a fully fledged level 6 referral hospital.
The youth and women are his first target for empowerment programs.
He accused the UDA party for refusing to refund him the KSH.500,000 that he had already paid as nomination fee prior to his fallout with the DP Ruto’s outfit.
Bungoma gubernatorial race has recalibrated into a battle of bigwigs.
Incumbent governor Wickliffe Wangamati will be defending the seat via a DAP-K party ticket and he was recently endorsed by Azimio’s presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga.
Senate speaker Kenneth Lusaka will be battling it out on a Ford Kenya party ticket in an attempt to make a comeback to the Bungoma county politics.
But Zachariah Barasa insists that none of the two leaders possess the necessary skills to lead Bungoma county.
Political pundits have opined that the contest of electing Bungoma governor will be a tussle between Kenya Kwanza and Azimio in the scramble for the presidential votes.