MP ends one-term jinx for seat since 2003 by-election

Western
Saboti MP Caleb Amisi. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Saboti MP Caleb Amisi has become only the second legislator, after former Vice President Kijana Wamalwa, to retain the seat following last week’s elections.

The MP, who was running on ODM ticket, won re-election after garnering 25,469 votes against his closest challenger Benard Wambwa of the UDA who got 12,392 votes.

Amisi, who was first elected area MP in 2017, was nominated to contest for the seat by the ODM after his rival Eric Simatwa agreed to back him. 

Wafula Buge won the seat in 1988 on a Kanu ticket before it was taken over in 1992 by Ford Kenya’s Kijana Wamalwa.

The former VP retained the seat in 1997, still on Ford Kenya ticket, and in the 2002 elections on Narc ticket. It was also on Narc ticket that former President Mwai Kibaki contested the presidency against the incumbent, the late Daniel Arap Moi, of Kanu. 

When Kijana Wamalwa died in 2003, Captain Davis Nakitare ran on a Narc-Kenya ticket and won in the ensuing by-election.

Nakitare served for one term before he was ousted during the 2007 elections by Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa of PNU.

Eugene also served only one term before he was ousted in the 2013 elections by David Lazaro of New Ford Kenya. Similarly, Lazaro only served a single term and was edged out by Amisi in 2017. 

And in last week’s elections, Lazaro tried to make a comeback but got only 5,452 votes to finish fourth behind outgoing Tuwan MCA Bernard Wambua and outgoing Trans Nzoia senator Michael Mbito who finished second and third respectively.

Joseph Pepela of Ford Kenya party got 2,151 votes to finish last in the race that saw 53,498 voters cast their votes. Only 578 votes were rejected.

The constituency has 87,384 registered voters, according to the electoral commission register.

In his acceptance speech, Amisi thanked the voters for electing him once again.

“We thank God for the gift of life and the victory he has given us. We indeed also thank Him for enabling the people of Saboti to choose their leaders wisely. I want to thank them for choosing development over tribalism,” he said.