Nambale MP’s seat is up for grabs as Hon Bunyasi goes for governors’ post

Hon. John Sakwa Bunyasi

Chris Okemo’s corrosive penchant for handouts to voters is still a prevailing plague to date. Therefore the money factor in the electioneering process for any candidate in Nambale is very critical; otherwise, without it, the process could easily spell political doom for any candidate

By The Weekly Vision Online

A gruelling battle for the next parliamentary representative for the Nambale constituency during next year’s general elections has already started with several aspirants foraging the ground to endear themselves to voters. The current MP Hon. John Sakwa Bunyasi of Amani National Congress (ANC) party is leaving having declared that he will be fighting for Busia County’s gubernatorial seat.  

The culture of handouts, intimidation, violence, voter manipulations which were financed, orchestrated, planned and ruthlessly executed by former Member of Parliament Chris Okemo and his political minders have since drastically reduced during the current MP’s tenure. The culture impoverished people by entrenching “handouts” or Mbekho sindu, meaning give me something as a means of asking for votes. Chris Okemo messed up the constituency’s politics into “line-up for cash and vote for me, kind of politics”.


Mr Kizito Namulanda is a media professional

Chris Okemo’s corrosive penchant for handouts to voters is still a prevailing issue to date, therefore the money factor in the electioneering process for any candidate in Nambale is very critical; otherwise, without it, the process could easily spell political doom for any candidate.

Candidates lining up to fill up Hon. Bunyasi’s huge boots include two-time loser, Nairobi based advocate Geoffrey Mulanya who has twice attempted to get the constituency seat but consistently lost to the incumbent yet he was vying on an Orange Democratic Party (ODM) party’s ticket, a party considered by many to be very popular among voters in the County. He contested against Hon. Bunyasi in the last two general elections, followed by a long list of new entrants like Dr Omeri, John Mwani, Anthony Itela, Kizito Namulanda, Joseph Barasa and Anthony Buluma. The list may grow longer as we get closer to the poll date.

Mr Namulanda a media professional also contested at the last general elections, it was a tall order for him to have tried contesting against his paternal uncle, Sakwa Bunyasi, he lost badly

The most critical questions people in Nambale are asking is, who has the financial power, connections, appeal and influence on the ground to carry the day when the day comes? Despite Hon. Bunyasi having served for only two terms as MP, is the only one with a sterling record to show, having utilized well the constituency’s Constituency Development Fund (CDF) by making tangible development changes beyond those of former MPs like Okemo and the rest.

Among the candidates, whom among them boosts of any personality or achievements to peddle as a campaign tool for next year’s general elections? Next year’s elections will be a political duel to keen watchers because the current legislator Hon Sakwa Bunyasi against all odds, trials and tribulations has over the last two terms he has been in office – made a whole world’s of difference in Nambale residents lives

Many of the candidates are yet to publicly declare on which political party ticket they will be battling it out on, though Buluma has personally declared that he is rooting to get the Amani National Congress (ANC) party’s ticket which is likely to see a fight out at the primaries since others have shown interest to succeed Bunyasi on the same party.

Mr Namulanda a media professional also contested at the last general elections, it was a tall order for him to have tried contesting against his paternal uncle, Sakwa Bunyasi. There is also Leo Nyongesa a retired policeman who contested at the last general elections on a Jubilee coalition party ticket and lost, though perhaps he remains one who has constantly remained in close contact with the people on the ground, this time though it is not clear whether he will be joining the 2022 political fray for that seat.

The rest are newcomers on the constituency’s politics platform who will have to go an extra mile to convince voters to cast their ballots in their favour. Indeed many others may be raring to jump into the fray as the clock ticks to polling day.

Another critical issue in the minds of voters in the constituency is the fact that soon after losing, some of the aspirants completely disappear from the ground without getting in touch with the very people they intend to be begging for votes from in future, they forget these very same people on the ground do not easily forget and hit back viciously come polling day. There is also the clan factor that has plagued the constituency since it divorced itself from the neighbouring Butula constituency. It is dominated mainly by two populous clans of Abaguri and Abakhabi who have had inter-marriage relations since time immemorial and their numbers matter in determining who wins.

Retired area MP Phillip Masinde who played a leading role in separating Butula and Nambale formerly known as Busia East constituency is from the Abakhabi clan but since his departure, the Abaguris have dominated the seat since the entry of Okemo and then the current legislator Bunyasi. The rest of the clans in the constituency are the Abamenya, Abade, Abamudiru and the Abarunga among others, unfortunately, no personality from these clans has had the opportunity to win the legislative mantle for Nambale, it remains to be seen if this will happen at next year’s general elections.

Voters in the constituency tend to vote into parliament reliable personalities who do not renege on their commitments or promises, otherwise, they would be doomed at the next balloting, that is why former area legislators like Masinde, Okemo and Bunyasi made it at their second attempts, as they were perceived to be reliability among many other virtues

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