Bungoma: Five emerge to replace Moses Wetang'ula

National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

At least five candidates have announced their intention to vie for Bungoma senatorial seat.

The seat fell vacant after immediate senator-elect Moses Wetang'ula quit to contest for the position of National Assembly speaker.

Notable politicians eyeing the seat are former Bumula MP Mwambu Mabonga, Jacob Machacha Majembe who is a former aide of former minister Fred Gumo, Bishop Harman Kasili who is the chairman of the Lake Region Economic Bloc private sector organisations, Wetangula’s aid Wafula Wakoli and Agfrey Mutuma Namisi.

Mr Mabonga who lost to Jack Wamboka of DAP-K in Bumula parliamentary race has a chance to salvage his political career. 

The Rev Kasili of the Lighthouse Church said he is the best-suited candidate to clinch the seat “because I have the full backing of churches and the people of Bungoma.”

“I will be seeking Wetang'ula’s support because he appeared to like me despite the fact that we were rivals in the August 9 elections. I believe the people will give me a chance to serve them this time round.

“In the absence of Prof Charles Ngome who was a strong candidate in the past race, I believe I stand a chance," said Kasili.

Mr Namisi, who vied for the Webuye East MP under ODM but lost to Ford Kenya's Martine Pepela, said he had been endorsed by the Tachoni elders to seek a truce with Wetang'ula and vie for the senatorial seat.

Political analyst Isaac Wanjekeche said that Ford Kenya, and Kenya Kwanza by extension, will put on a fierce fight to retain the seat.

"Depending on what candidate Ford Kenya fields, Kenya Kwanza will have an upper hand in the by-election," said Wanjekeche.