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Senator Mbito fights for survival in Trans Nzoia – Weekly Citizen



Less than 11 months to the end of Trans Nzoia senator Michael Mbito’s first term, the seat is continuing to attract more aspirants. The incumbent’s grip on the seat has however complicated matters for his opponents who have been capitalising on his close relationship with Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mike Mbito

Senator Mbito, according to his political rivals, has a hard task convincing the Sabaot community for re-election but political pundits aver that it will be difficult for anyone trying to unseat him. That means that whoever wants to unseat him be wealthy in order to sway the voters who are ready to give him another resounding victory. The Bukusu community, which entered into the Mabanga Peace Agreement to have the Sabaot community produce a senator, is likely to support Senator Mbito’s re-election.

Henry Ole Ndiema

This is according to Bukusu elder Peter Masinde who says the community will fully rally behind Senator Mbito. The senator’s challengers who include former senator Henry Tiole ole Ndiema, Allan Chesang, Richard Kamonda Chesebe, county assembly speaker Joshua Werunga, Alex Matere and former cabinet minister Kipruto arap Kirwa have already squandered their first big opportunity to impress the electorate who now take them for big jokers. Another politician voters have been keeping close watch on is Devolution cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa.

Allan Chesang

Ndiema who has not hinted at retiring will be running for the second time hoping to dislodge the man who cut short his tenure. Kirwa who has unsuccessfully tried his luck twice is giving it a stab for the third time on deputy president William Ruto’a United Democracy Alliance party against Chesang and Chesebe who is the immediate former county Jubilee party chairman. For Matere who caused a stir during the Building Bridges Initiative rally at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi when he took the DP head on, it will be a difficult task likened to former president Mwai Kibaki’s slogan of “cutting the mugumo tree using a razor blade”.

Richard Chesebe

Matere believes that his closeness with ODM leader Raila Odinga will help him secure the Luo vote in the county. The Luo community led by Washington Ngesa recently met Mbito at his rural home and pledged to support him. The new political development seems to have further complicated matters for the young Matere whose fate lies in the hands of Saboti legislator Caleb Amisi. For Eugene, he is confused between running for the gubernatorial and the senate seats.

Joshua Werunga

His former supporters have since decamped to the camps of Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa, ICT and Infrastructure secretary in the deputy president’s office Kakai Bisau and lately Rift Valley regional coordinator George Natembeya and they say the CS should run for the Kitale Town parliamentary seat if it is created by BBI. It is not a secret anymore that Eugene has completely lost clout over his former admirers who now say the CS is in political menopause and that he should forget about any elective seat or be ready to be put to shame. Senator Mbito has not attracted any significant challengers yet and political researcher Emmanuel Wanjala says the senator will outshine his opponents come 2022.

Alex Matere

Since the Trans Nzoia senatorial seat will be up for grabs, it will be a tempting moment for contestants from outside the Sabaot community although the Nandi and some Bukusus are feeling increasingly confident that running against Mbito will be so easy coming at a time when Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula is under siege. Wetangula has termed the conspiracy against him as a curse of a child pulling down his father’s pants when the father has climbed a tree to fetch fruits. Former nominated senator Catherine Mukite has not announced her candidature and she could get a lot of attention if she decides to step into the murky waters for the senate seat.

Kipruto Arap Kirwa

But the contest for the woman senate seat still does not make it easy for Mukite who may not be able to dislodge Trans Nzoia county women MP Janet Nangabo, if she decides to quit the gubernatorial race. Nangabo who is a strong political chess board player is not a pushover and may pull major surprises. “She has kept everyone guessing on her interest. She can overcome a challenge and cannot be overlooked after getting a master’s degree,” said a supporter. As an open seat that has been created in the BBI proposal, the women senate representation remains the seat most likely to flip in 2022 with all women jostling for the coveted position.

Catherine Mukite

Other women that are eyeing the seat are human rights activist Immaculate Shamalla, county lands CEC Christine Tanguli, Beatrice Kitiabi, county public service management CEC Susan Murumba, county health CEC Clare Namenge, nominated MCA Ann Ciiko and Dorcas Njenga. Njenga has entered into the race after realising that the efforts she had put in place to become Eugene’s running mate have come a cropper and it is like selling pork or dog meat to a sheikh. The women leaders jostling for the seat are on the drawing board. The women senate seat continues to be the centre of the political duel, this time with a controversial election law that has made politicians without degrees to keep off.

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