BATTLE LINES DRAWN

Bumula MP race gets tougher as four seek to unseat Mabonga

Incumbent to face stiff competition from his predecessors Boniface Otsiula and Wakoli Bifwoli

In Summary

• All contestants claim that Mabonga's development record is wanting. They are also questioning the use of the CDF kitty.

• Political analysts say party choices and regions that the contestants come from will play a major role.

Bumula MP Mwambu Mabonga
Bumula MP Mwambu Mabonga
Image: JOHN NALIANYA
Bungoma Kuppet executive secretary Augustine Luketelo
Bungoma Kuppet executive secretary Augustine Luketelo
Image: JOHN NALIANYA
Former Bumula MP Wakoli Bifwoli
Former Bumula MP Wakoli Bifwoli
Image: JOHN NALIANYA

The Bumula parliamentary race in 2022 is promising to be tough, with four aspirants having declared they will seek to unseat MP Mwambu Mabonga.

Mabonga's move to join Deputy President William Ruto's UDA seems to have left battle lines drawn as his opponents will seek to run on parties perceived to be more popular in the region like Ford Kenya and ANC.

The MP was elected in 2017 as an independent after ditching Ford Kenya in the aftermath of controversial primaries.

Those seeking to unseat the lawmaker are former legislators Boniface Otsiula and Wakoli Bifwoli. Others include politician Jack Wamboka and Bungoma Kuppet executive secretary Augustine Luketelo.

All contestants claim that Mabonga's development record is wanting. They are also questioning the use of the CDF kitty.

But Mabonga has said his development record is better compared to his predecessors. 

"We have been putting up standard structures across the constituency," he said.

The MP said Bumula people were bright enough to decipher lies from the truth and know which leader has changed their fortunes.

Wamboka has been claiming that all the contractors doing CDF projects were Mabonga's cronies.

"Residents don't benefit from tenders because only those associated with him [the MP] are beneficiaries," the politicians claimed.

Wamboka accused Mabonga of favouring some regions based on past voting patterns.

Luketelo said Mabonga had failed Bumula because the amount of money the constituency has received is not commensurate with the projects on the ground.

"He has concentrated on public relations exercises and marketing Deputy President William Ruto, forgetting his core mandate," he said.

Otsiula said he had learnt from past mistakes and was sure of recapturing his seat.

"We have learned from our mistakes and we can assure you that the ground is very receptive to us," he said.

Otsiula lost narrowly to Mabonga in the last elections.

Political analysts opine that party choices and regions that the contestants come from will play a major role.

"If you observe past trends, party choices and the region, one comes from plays a big role because everyone one starts with their home block," political commentator Yusuf Makabila said.

Wamboka is associated with the Democratic Action Party-Kenya, sponsored by Defence CS Eugene Wamalwa, while Otsiula associates himself with the handshake Wing of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Bifwoli is said to be trooping back to Ford Kenya after initially quitting the party.

Edited by A.N

Former Bumula MP Boniface Otsiula
Former Bumula MP Boniface Otsiula
Image: John Nalianya
Politician Jack Wamboka
Politician Jack Wamboka
Image: JOHN NALIANYA