Butula voters prepare for the ‘Battle of Titans’ in 2022 poll contest

Hon. Joseph Oyula MP Butula constituency

Prominent professionals and technocrats who have served as MP’s in Butula include veteran economists and former finance minister Francis Yekoyada Masakhalia, Prof. Christine Mango whose late husband Dr Mukasa Mango served for two terms as Busia East constituency MP

By The Weekly Vision Online

Butula is a constituency whose politics arena has always been unique ever since it was carved out of the former Busia East constituency creating Butula and Nambale. It is a unique constituency in that the voters here have never returned a sitting area Member of Parliament for a second term since it was created.

It also happens to be perhaps the only constituency in Busia County that has over the decades elected highly qualified and experienced professionals and technocrats as MP’s right from the late Dr Mukasa Mango to the current MP Joseph Oyula. It is also the second constituency to have elected high school principal as MP when they elected Alfred Bwire Odhiambo. Amagoro in Teso was the first when it elected the late Pancras Otwani as MP.

Michael Joseph Aringo Onyura

Prominent professionals and technocrats who have previously served as MP’s in Butula include veteran economists and former finance minister in former President Daniel Arap Moi regime, Francis Yekoyada Masakhalia, Prof. Christine Mango whose late husband Dr Mukasa Mango served for two terms as Busia East constituency MP.

Then there was school Principal Alfred Bwire Odhiambo and Michael Joseph Aringo Onyura, Onyura was replaced by the current legislator Joseph Oyula. Residents are already scratching their heads asking the question as to whether Mr Oyula will be able to successfully defend his seat and in the process eradicate the one-term jinx that has plagued his predecessors, despite his massive wealth and long term professional experience both in government and the private sector.

The most populous clans in the constituency are the Bafofoyo, from where retired Vice President Moody Awori hailed, he represented Funyula in parliament because his father had migrated and settled there, others are the Abang’ayo and Ababonwe among others

Mr Oyula, a first-time legislator was elected on the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party ticket in the 2017 polls but this time round he is set to face a cocktail of veterans and newcomers in a race that is quickly shaping up to be an explosive political contest.

Former Butula Boys High School principal Nobert Bwire Wangalwa

The Weekly Vision Online has established that among the aspirants seeking to unseat Hon. Oyula is former MPs Alfred Bwire Odhiambo (2007-2013), Michael Onyura (2013-2017), former Butula Boys High School principal Nobert Bwire Wangalwa he is brother to former Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa and youthful aspirant Kennedy Odweyo, Royal Media’s Citizen Kiswahili Radio news presenter Josephat Odipo is also rumoured to be interested.

Hon. Oyula’s opponents have accuse him of failing to fulfill his electoral pledges, poor quality of representation in the National Assembly and is largely disconnected from the people to effectively serve their interests. In his defence, the sitting MP has however consistently rubbished those claims, saying that he deserves to get another term in parliament owing to his “great development record” in infrastructure and education.

According to veteran county political observers and strategists, Principal Wangalwa has quickly emerged as the biggest threat to the Hon. Oyula owing to the numbers the former teacher continues to gain. They say that Butula parliamentary contests are usually battled along clans line, party affiliation and money. Nobert’s Wangalwa’s father the late Moses Wangalwa was a senior highly respected Chief.

The most populous clans in the constituency are the Bafofoyo, from where retired Vice President Moody Awori hailed, he represented Funyula in parliament because his father had migrated and settled there, others are the Abang’ayo and Ababonwe among others.

Butula is one constituency with its unique principals whose residents are among the County’s highly politically aware and astute, they surely call the shots once they zero in on a specific candidate

Nobert Wangalwa’s entry into the fray has thrown other contestants into a spin, compelling many hopefuls to rush back to the drawing board. One of them who declined to be named said: “The decision by Mr Wangalwa to gun for the seat took many by surprise, given that he was largely regarded in the region as being apolitical despite his brother Kizito having been heavily involved in 2013.”

He said that the charismatic educationist currently working as the National Lands Commission (NLC) coordinator based in Siaya County, has set a scorching pace in the race for the coveted position, a development that has gotten many of them thinking of the next move.

Mr Odweyo, another candidate attended Mauko D. E. B. Primary School, Butula Boys’ High School, and the University of Nairobi, School of Business where he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Management Science option) Degree. He pursued other courses on Politics, Leadership, Governance, Management, Youth Empowerment, Gender Equity, as well as Elections and Civic Responsibility; through the US Government-sponsored Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and Amnesty International (K).

He is ALSO a City & Guilds of London Institute qualified and certified Sound Engineer and Music Technologist. He previously worked in the Banking sector, Investment Management & Advisory, Transport & Logistics, and Project Management before shifting his attention to Politics, Governance, Leadership, Youth & Women Empowerment and Community Service.

However, Butula is one constituency with its unique principals whose residents are among the County’s highly politically aware and astute, they surely call the shots once they zero in on a specific candidate. Perhaps the biggest example is that of Mr Oyula’s first attempt into elective politics in 2013 despite his wealth, high and long professional experience as a technocrat including connectivity, his opponent Michael Onyura formerly the HR Kenya Revenue Authority easily beat him.

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