Jubilee has increased the number of governors to 25, up from the 18 it had as TNA/URP in the 2013 general election.
Small parties had their say though. The Kenya African National Union (KANU) has one governor in West Pokot – John Lonyang’apuo – who edged out Governor Simon Kachapin. Ford Kenya won in Trans Nzoia, where Governor Patrick Kahemba retained his seat, and Bungoma where Wycliffe Wangamati dethroned Jubilee’s Ken Lusaka.
The National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) grabbed Kitui from Wiper through its party leader Charity Ngilu. Wiper also lost Machakos to Alfred Mutua’s Maendeleo Chap on whose ticket he has retained the governorship. But other small parties were not lucky. The Progressive Party of Kenya (PPK) on whose platform Moses Akaranga won the Vihiga seat in 2013, has nothing as does the Grand National Union (GNU) on whose ticket Peter Munya won the Meru governorship in 2013. Munya lost the Meru seat to Jubilee’s Kiraitu Murungi.
The NASA defeat is significant in that they have diluted the clout of the respective leaders of its constituent parties. Wiper’s failure to retain Machakos rubs Kalonzo Musyoka the wrong way given the acrimonious primaries that saw him part ways with Wiper stalwart Johnstone Muthama. It happened after the party nominated Wavinya Ndeti, days after she decamped from Chama Cha Uzalendo. Muthama had preferred deputy chairman Bernard Kiala.
Wavinya has vowed to contest Mutua’s victory in a court of law.
The same applies to Kitui which went to Ngilu on her NARC party’s ticket. This again after Mr Musyoka’s preference for Governor Julius Malombe compelled Wiper’s national chairman David Musila to go independent. Now Wiper has only two governors, Makueni’s Prof Kivutha Kibwana and Taita Taveta’s Granton Samboja.
Jubilee’s bigger catch expands its influence in the country and fixes the incongruity of a ruling party not running the richest county, Nairobi, which happens to be Kenya’s capital city. In this regard, Mike Sonko’s victory over ODM’s Evans Kidero is the party’s sweetest pending the sorting out of the presidential poll crisis.
With more governors under its control, Jubilee will have less headache pushing through its agenda, hopefully avoiding situations as such the resistance its Sh38-billion medical equipment project met from opposition governors.
With 13 governors, ODM’s nose is not as bruised as Wiper’s. Its loss of Kwale County has been counterbalanced by victories in Mombasa, Kilifi and Tana River, indicating that its grip on the Coast is largely intact.