Wamunyinyi, four others in race for MP job

CS Eugene Wamalwa and DAP-K leader Wafula Wamunyinyi in Bungoma. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The number of aspirants seeking to unseat Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi has increased to four with Azimio la Umoja affiliate parties spoiling for a fight.

One of the incumbent’s challengers is in ODM whose leader Raila Odinga is the Azimio One Kenya Coalition Party presidential hopeful.

Former assistant minister Alfred Khang’ati leads the pack of aspirants seeking to succeed Wamunyinyi who is Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) leader. 

Others are lawyer John Makali, Wafula Wambanda and Wafula Wakoli. The trio will battle it out for Ford-K ticket. Wamunyinyi who broke ranks with the Ford-K party leader Moses Wetang’ula following a botched coup is a close ally of Raila and has been busy drumming up support for DAP-K and the former Prime Minister’s presidential bid in Bungoma County.

In 2007, Khang’ati beat Wamunyinyi hands down in a hotly contested race and he has been plotting a come-back on ODM ticket.  In 2013, Khang’ati went for the governorship seat but was defeated by Kenneth Lusaka.

Some pollsters, including Mizani Africa have ranked Khang’ati ahead of Wamunyinyi and the other aspirants. Maurice Nyaranga, a political scientist argued that Kanduyi’s occupies strategic position in Bungoma County politics because it is cosmopolitan bloc. Both Khang’ati and Makali resides around the county where they command huge support.

Some residents said the race will be more or less a derby pitting the incumbent versus Makali and Khang’ati.  The duo have been a thorn in Wamunyinyi’s flesh going by the outcome of the past elections.

In 2013, Makali lost narrowly to Wamunyinyi and in the August 9 race, the three are not leaving anything to chance in their quest to woo the voters.

Political analyst Barrack Muluka had earlier argued that Wamunyinyi would have it rough defending the seat after quitting Ford-K.