Trans Nzoia County leaders clash as they jostle for positions ahead of elections next year

Trans Nzoia County Governor Patrick Khaemba

CS Wamalwa says remarks by the Kiminini MP Dr Chris Wamalwa who had declared himself as the most astute aspirant to succeed Khaemba were far-fetched. ”The two-term MP assertions that he had been blessed by the Pope at the Vatican in Rome for Khaemba’s succession when he visited the Vatican City recently is a fallacy

PART TWO

By Sirengo Namasaka

Outgoing Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba has vowed not to support Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa as the next county governor in next year’s elections after the latter threatened to have him investigated over financial improprieties.

The governor will likely proceed with his plans to support a candidate who will be able to fully implement his megaprojects, though it remains unclear whether he will be supporting Rift Valley regional coordinator George Natembya for the post.

Ford Kenya say that the entry of George Natembeya could frustrate and dim their candidate’s success going by the recent defection of all ford Kenya grassroots leaders christened” coup sympathizers” who teamed up with Ford Kenya Secretary-General David Eseli and his Kanduyi counterpart Wafula Wamunyinyi to topple Senator Wetangula as the party leader. “It reminds people of one of the more critical decisions that the former elected grassroots officials make,” says Eric Wasike, a Ford Kenya political strategist.

Chris Wamalwa he would pursue a motion he had tabled in the National Assembly for the establishment of a Michael Wamalwa University in Trans Nzoia once he is elected as the governor but Mr Natembeya countered the MP saying the National government was ready to allocate land for the construction of the university in Trans Nzoia instead of going the parliamentary way

Stakes of Ford Kenya party losing grip of Trans Nzoia County politics has become more heated with the Kiminini MP and his followers who have been campaigning for the last four years acting with the realization they will not always be the winner’s withers away.“What’s gone on over the last four years is one threat after another and the weakening of our candidate by the wave brought in by Kwesule, we are getting frayed at this point,” says Joseph Pepela, a former university don and Saboti parliamentary aspirant.

The leadership of Ford Kenya, Wetangulas wing, is taking things slow, perhaps by delaying anticipated Annual General Assembly, might squelch some of this enthusiasm. And voter enthusiasm is something that endangered Party leader Wetangula’s hold on the helm. “In the big picture of all the race to pick the new party leadership, they’re going to have a big problem if they don’t surrender as early as now’‘,” says Tongaren MP David Eseli.

MP Chris Wamalwa had said that he had been blessed by the Pope at the Vatican in Rome for Khaemba’s succession

“What matters is in the Constitution, and the Constitution says the party must hold an NDC, a matter that Wetangula has rejected,” added Eseli. Conversely, former leaders including Anthony Sikulu say Senator Wetangula’s actions demonstrate openly to voters that all he is interested in is power, not principles or voter representation. “I think both the party leader, Kiminini MP and the Kwanza MP are overreaching here. I know this is politics and we’re all big boys and not their children, but I think they are going to pay a price for that,” says Sikulu.

CS Wamalwa is understood to be behind the formation of the Democratic Action Party DAP (K) which he hopes to ride on in the next political dispensation at the expiry of his term in the Jubilee coalition government. He is fighting for supremacy in Trans Nzoia against Wetangula’s FK and Deputy President Dr William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

Former minister Noah Wekesa is well known for crafting political alliances and has said it is only through coalition-building that the country will get sound political leadership next year.

Both Mudavadi and Wetangula have vowed to unite the populous Luhya community to ensure the house of Mulembe takes over the county’s presidency after President Uhuru Kenyatta’s tenure comes to an end next year, but will this come to pass?

Also read CS Eugene Wamalwa bolts out of the race to succeed Governor Patrick Khaemba in Trans Nzoia

Though Mudavadi and Wetangula did not comment on the perceived support of CS Wamalwa for RV coordinator George Natembeya, the duo seemed to agree with the former Constitutional Affairs Minister for the anticipated changes in the county during next year’s polls.

The devolution minister had previously vouched for an alliance way to help the community achieve its ambition as pushed by former UNCTAD Secretary-General Dr Mukhisa Kituyi who craftily avoided politics at the occasion as well as the ANC deputy party leader and MP for Lugari Ayub Savula.

 CS Wamalwa says remarks by the Kiminini MP Dr Chris Wamalwa who had declared himself as the most astute aspirant to succeed Khaemba were far-fetched. ”The two-term MP assertions that he had been blessed by the Pope at the Vatican in Rome for Khaemba’s succession when he visited the Vatican City recently is a fallacy. let him prepare himself for a defeat”, says Political strategist Ronald Wasilwa, Chris is allied to the Wetangula Ford Kenya party.

He said he would pursue a motion he had tabled in the National Assembly for the establishment of a Michael Wamalwa University in Trans Nzoia once he is elected as the governor.

Mr Natembeya has countered the MP saying the National government was ready to allocate land for the construction of a public university instead of in Trans Nzoia instead of going the parliamentary way as suggested by Chris, adding that the government was in the process of sieving out some of the degrees obtained from the streets.

In an apparent reference to the Kiminini MP, Natembeya lambasted politicians who take advantage of funerals to make political mileage and concurred with CS Wamalwa that the national government had its plans for settling the landless, issuance of title deeds, addressing the water shortage and the commissioning of roads in Trans Nzoia; some of which, he said, will soon be presided over by President Kenyatta at a later date.

Minister Wamalwa’s public declaration of support for Natembeya has opened Pandora’s box with the latter’s MP vowing to stop the Rift Valley administration chief whom he describes as a ‘’policeman’’ not fit to execute the responsibilities of an elected county boss.

The Kiminini legislator accuses Natembeya of having marshalled the demolition of business premises in Kitale on the Kenya Railway land rendering thousands of youths jobless but those opposed to Chris Wamalwa’ standpoint out that this was a better plan to open up more business outlets and the entire physical planning of the town.

With the confirmation of Natembeya on the Trans Nzoia governor’s ballot paper next year, this now gives room to the other aspirants Kakai Bisau and Dr Abraham Sing’oei, both allied to Ruto’s UDA, to fight it out for the nominations. The two have since backslid as Natembeya and Chris take the governor’s war to the closets of the residents.

It is only Bisau who contested against Khaemba in 2013 and 2017 and emerged in the third position and second position respectively with Dr Wekesa skipping the 2017 polls.

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