POPULARITY CONTEST

Kabuchai by-election tough test for Ruto, Wetang'ula

Wetang’ula is fielding Majimbo Kalasinga while Ruto is supporting Evans Kakai

In Summary

• Political scientist says if Wetang’ula’s candidate loses in the Kabuchai by-election, other people who have been fighting to replace him at the helm of Ford Kenya will be justified.

•  For DP Ruto, observers say, it will be time for him to gauge if his frequent visits to the region have yielded fruit.

Independent candidate Casper Wafubwa
Independent candidate Casper Wafubwa
Image: JOHN NALIANYA
Ford Kenya candidate Majimbo Kalasinga
Ford Kenya candidate Majimbo Kalasinga
Image: JOHN NALIANYA
UDA candidate for Kabuchai by-election Evans Kakai
UDA candidate for Kabuchai by-election Evans Kakai
Image: JOHN NALIANYA

Campaigns for the Kabuchai MP by-election are in top gear and the contest appears to be a popularity test for Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula and Deputy President William Ruto.

Wetang’ula is fielding Majimbo Kalasinga while Ruto is supporting Evans Kakai who will contest the seat on the newly unveiled UDA party.

Other candidates include David Kibiti of the Green Movement Party and Amos Wekesa of the Federal Party of Kenya.

Political commentators say Wetang’ula is set to fight for the seat using all his arsenal, while Ruto will rely on the fact that he has in the recent past made lots of inroads in the entire Bungoma county. Wetang’ula comes from the constituency.

“This is the time for Wetang’ula to show that this is his bedroom, especially after facing an aborted coup from Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi and falling out with ODM leader Raila Odinga,” political scientist Maurice Nyaranga said.

He said if Wetang’ula’s candidate loses in the Kabuchai by-election, other people who have been fighting to replace him at the helm of Ford Kenya will be justified.

“For Wetang’ula, it is all about his image in the 2022 political formations. If he loses this, then his bargaining power will definitely go down,” Nyaranga said.

For DP Ruto, observers say, it will be time for him to gauge if his frequent visits to the region have yielded fruit.

“The DP has been in this region countless times with goodies and telling them he is a neighbour. It goes without saying that the region has been slowly embracing his gospel, and it will be time to test and weigh just how much he has achieved,” Fred Sanane said.

He said if Kakai loses, it would show that despite the warm reception the DP receives during his numerous visits, he had made little to zero impact.

“After the by-election, it will be time to face reality and weigh if it is worth it or keep himself busy elsewhere,” Sanane said.