Ford Kenya’s Joseph Majimbo Kalasinga has won the Kabuchai parliamentary by-election.
Kalasinga won the seat by a landslide, convincingly flooring his competitors. He garnered 19,274 votes, representing 65 per cent of the total votes cast.
His closest challenger, United Democratic Alliance’s Masinde Evans Kakai came a distant second with a paltry 6,455 (22 per cent).
The Kabuchai mini-poll failed to live up to its billing. Many had anticipated a fierce contest between Kalasinga and UDA’s Kakai. Well… it ended in a whimper.
Kalasinga unsuccessfully vied for the seat in 2017 General Election on a Jubilee Party ticket. He was not ready to repeat previous political blunders- this time he sort for a Ford Kenya ticket. He secured the coveted lion party ticket after garnering the majority of delegates’ votes.
The Kabuchai seat fell vacant after the demise of MP John Lusweti on December 4, 2017.
The late Lusweti was lauded as an effective leader and an accomplished grassroot mobiliser. According to President Uhuru Kenyatta, Lusweti’s development conscious politics “shall be dearly missed by the people of Kabuchai and the entire nation.”
Kabuchai electorates, who have made their voices heard loud and clear, will be hoping that Kalasinga will serve them diligently.
Since toppling seasoned politician Musikari Kombo as Ford Kenya’s leader in 2011, Wetangula achieved a ‘political demigod’ status in Bungoma. The dominant party in Bungoma was Ford Kenya.
But in 2017 General Election, Wetangula’s status was weakened. The Jubilee Party somehow managed to make serious inroads in the perceived opposition stronghold.
Four MPs managed to floor Ford Kenya’s candidates, to the dismay of many. The four are; Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Daniel Wanyama Sitati (Webuye West), Fred Kapondi (Mt Elgon) and John Waluke (Sirisia).
The four have been leading campaigns at the grassroots, insisting that Wetangula’s was outdated brand of politics.
Attempted coup in the den
Still reeling from the setback of 2017 elections, Wetangula was faced with a fresh yet common problem. Secretary-General Eseli Simiyu and Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi led an abortive coup in 2020.
Eseli and Wamunyinyi claimed that under Wetangula’s tutelage, Ford Kenya had slumped into a mere community party, therefore the need for new leadership.
Wetangula, however, put up a fight and somehow normalcy is slowly but returning in the party.
The Kabuchai by-election was a chance for Wetangula to affirm his ‘political might’, he has achieved this, with a landslide.