• Kalasinga defeated Nakuru East deputy county commissioner Eric Wanyonyi after days of lobbying party delegates.
• Ford Kenya director of elections Khadija Mustafa said the nomination was tight with three spoilt votes.
Majimbo Kalasinga will fly the Ford Kenya flag in the Kabuchai parliamentary by-election scheduled for March 4 after he won the party primaries on Tuesday.
Kalasinga defeated Nakuru East deputy county commissioner Eric Wanyonyi by 70 votes against 32 after days of lobbying delegates.
Ford Kenya director of elections Khadija Mustafa said the nomination was tight with three spoilt votes.
Nairobi-based land surveyor Peter Kapanga opted to run as an independent candidate, while Juma Mukhwana, who is the director-general and CEO of Kenya National Qualifications Authority, pulled out of the nomination citing favouritism in Ford-K.
Mukhwana ran on the Jubilee Party ticket against party leader Moses Wetang'ula for the Bungoma senatorial seat in 2017 but lost.
The primaries held at Musese CDF offices near Chwele market attracted delegates from all the four wards of Kabuchai constituency—Mukuyuni, Chwele/Kabuchai, Luhya/Bwake, and West Nalondo.
The Kabuchai parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of MP James Lusweti who was buried on December 19, 2020, at his Sanandiki village home in Chwele.
Former Bungoma chief officer in charge of Public Administration David Kibiti has announced he will contest the seat on the Green Movement Party ticket.
Amos Wekesa will run on the Federal Party of Kenya ticket, while Evans Kakai, Peter Kapanga and Scholastica Murunga will contest as independents.
Wetang'ula was the last person to vote during the Ford Kenya nomination that was conducted very early in the morning.
Kalasinga lauded party delegates for trusting in him and giving him a chance to participate in the by-election.
"I would like to thank all delegates who exercised their rights by voting for me. I would like to also thank the party leader Moses Wetang'ula for giving me a chance to face other contestants in the by-election," Kalasinga said.
He expressed optimism that he will win and ably represent Kabuchai in the National Assembly.
Wanyonyi accepted the defeat and thanked the delegates who voted for him. He called for unity so the party can win the seat.
"I want us to unite as party members. Majimbo, I wish you well in the coming hot contest," Wanyonyi said.
Wetang'ula thanked Wanyonyi for accepting defeat and congratulated Kalasinga for the win.
"We want a leader who will step into the shoes of the late MP James Lusweti. Majimbo will embrace everyone and our campaign trail will involve the two candidates and will move up and down to ensure we win this by-election," he said.
Wetang'ula urged political parties to embrace democracy and allow popular candidates to carry the day during nominations.
"The party will facilitate the winner in presenting his certificate to IEBC and during campaigns," he said.
Edited by P.O