BUNGOMA, Kenya, May 18 – Bungoma County Governor’s re-election got a major jump-start after one of the dominant clans in the region declared to rally behind Jubilee Party.
Congregating in Burangasi in Bumula, the Balonja clan, which is dominant in the constituency with more than 20,000 voters, said it will support Governor Ken Lusaka, “and all other Jubilee candidates” in the August polls.
Addressing the meeting of about 3,000 of its members, the clan’s Secretary General Jairus Nyongesa Wangila Makhinu, once a strong supporter of Wycliffe Wangamati, said they will campaign for Jubilee and Governor Lusaka door-to-door to ensure their victory.
“We have seen the development projects initiated by the county and national governments from roads, agriculture, education to health. We expect more to come with his (Lusaka) re-election,” said Makhinu.
The endorsement comes barely a week after Mt Elgon elders declared “Lusaka Tano Tena” in a ceremony that was held in Chemoge, Kapsokwony. The region, according to the latest IEBC reports, has 69,000 voters, most of whom leaning towards Jubilee Party.
According to political analyst and veteran high court advocate Henry Wasilwa, the Lusaka Declarations are an indicator that Jubilee has penetrated in Bungoma and Western as a whole.
“The Balonja clan has been indifferent to the re-election of (Governor) Lusaka. In fact at some point they had indicated they would support Wangamati-who is also running for the gubernatorial seat. Now that they have declared their stand, Lusaka would be having a smooth journey to his re-election,” said Wasilwa.
Present in the meeting were several MPs, MCAs, administrators, teachers, among others.
Governor Lusaka said he will endeavour to serve the people of Bungoma without favouritism. He noted that while he had worked hard to meet the promises he made to people in 2013, others had been unfulfilled due to inevitable problems.
“We appreciate that devolution is still a new thing in Kenya. We had no learning template, but as we start our second term, be sure things will flow smoothly,” said the Governor.
Governor Lusaka is competing against Alfred Khangati of ODM, Wycliffe Wangamati of Ford-Kenya and Stephen Mutoro of ANC.