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Boni Khalwale drops governorship bid, to run for Senate

Khalwale was to face off against the current Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala in the gubernatorial contest. [Courtesy]

Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale has surrendered his governorship bid.

Khalwale now says he will run for Kakamega Senate seat in the August 9 General Election.

Khalwale was to face off against the current Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala in the gubernatorial contest.

Malala will run for the top county seat on an Amani National Congress (ANC) Party ticket, while Khalwale will seek to succeed him on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket.

Both political parties are partners within the Kenya Kwanza coalition.

During a press conference at Deputy President William Ruto’s Karen residence in Nairobi on Wednesday, March 23, Khalwale said he’ll support Malala’s gubernatorial bid.

"Somebody wants to use Malala and I as pawns. They want us to waste time fighting each other [yet we are in the same political camp],” he said.

Malala, on his part, said he was grateful to Khalwale for shelving his (Khalwale’s) gubernatorial ambition in favour of him.

“He (Khalwale) has ceded ground, not because I’m better than him, but because he understands what sacrifice means,” said Malala.

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and DP Ruto had struck a cooperation deal that would see none of the affiliate parties in Kenya Kwanza compete against each other in elective contests.

“This (agreement on Malala and Khalwale) is due to the spirit of give and take, the spirit of sacrifice, and a clear demonstration of leadership acumen,” said DP Ruto in his address to journalists.

“We’ll now build a team around them. We have agreed that Khalwale’s sacrifice won’t go unrewarded,” added the DP.