Former governors seeking 2022 comeback are politically unhygienic, says Boni Khalwale

Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Former governors who lost the previous elections in counties are planning a comeback in the 2022 General Election.

They include Evans Kidero eyeing the Homa Bay seat, Kenneth Lusaka in Bungoma, Kiambu's William Kabogo, Isaac Ruto of Bomet and Kinuthia Mbugua of Nakuru.

However, it will not be an easy race. 

Speaking on Citizen TV today, former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale is against governors either seeking re-election or vying for seats lower than that of county chief.

"Once you have reached the apex you do not step backward," he said.

Khalwale continued, "I expect that when a governor loses an election, it is politically hygienic to run for President or disappear altogether."

He said after a politician loses an election, they have nothing else to offer the electorate when seeking a lower political office.

The former senator added that it is worse when the said returnees "cleverly run" to vie in other counties.

His sentiments were echoed by Thirdway Alliance secretary-general Fred Okang'o who said it is wrong to "transport a loss to another county".

However, he said the returnees are Kenyans and have every right to exercise their right to run for election.

Khalwale said the electorate does not owe the returnees their votes and they should stop coming back.

Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa said it is hard to be re-elected than it is to win the first round.

The law states that one can only run for two consecutive terms.

"The governor's seat is very difficult," the Kiminini lawmaker said.

He said contenders need to check the mistakes they made and consider the residents' expectations.

Wamalwa added that the returnees pose stiff competition because they have experience and may have done some evaluation.

"They have since created [political] alignments meant to buoy their chances in the race."

As the sun sets on their second terms in office, 22 governors are getting ready to play game-changing roles in succession politics.

Although some of them are looking forward to a peaceful retirement despite being eligible to contest for other seats, some want to change the dynamics of the country’s politics.

Most of them are vital for the main political players who want to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta and they are working hard to bring them into their circles.

Aspirants are already giving incumbent governors in the South Rift sleepless nights as races to succeed county chiefs serving their final terms hot up.

An election fever is sweeping through Bomet, Narok, Kericho, Nakuru and Nyandarua counties where a former governor, a cabinet secretary, senators and senior civil servants are scheming to either succeed outgoing governors or unseat those serving their first terms.

Bomet’s Ruto is one of the aspirants plotting a political comeback after five years in the cold.

The Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) leader, who failed to recapture the seat in 2017 after falling out with Deputy President William Ruto, is correcting the political mistakes he made in the run up to the last General Election.

Recently, he made it clear that he will work with the DP to keep his political ambitions alive. “I will support you for the top seat, as I also go for the governor position,” Isaac told Ruto during a function in Bomet County.

Download the BBI Judgement by all seven Judges - Civil Appeal No. E291 of 2021