The battle for the over 2.2 million votes in the Western region has seen the Azimio and Kenya Kwanza presidential candidates increase their campaigns to woo voters in their favor.
Raila Odinga, who has pitched tent in the region for his 5-day tour, on Friday consolidated his parties bid to clinch the Trans Nzoia region by having the ODM’s governor contender Moses Khaoya step down in favor of George Natembeya of the Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K)
The former Rift Valley regional commissioner will battle it out with Chris Wamalwa, the current Kimilili Member of Parliament, vying for the Governor’s seat under Ford Kenya.
“Azimio is like a home with many wives. ODM, Jubilee, DAP-K, Wiper, and Narc Kenya, among others. But our candidate is George Natembeya. I requested Khaoya to step down and join my presidential campaign team,” said Odinga.
Apart from deploying the campaign strategy, Odinga has been routing for the 6-piece voting system to ensure that he has the numbers in the National Assembly and the Senate.
“Kindly vote for our people. From Ward rep, MP, Senate, Woman rep, Governor and President, vote for Azimio aspirants,” said Odinga.
Odinga also deployed the tact used in Trans Nzoia in Vihiga and Kakamega counties. In Vihiga, Odinga offered the Senate Speaker’s position to Kenneth Marende to ensure ODM’s Wilberforce Ottichilo retains the governor seat.
While in Kakamega, Lugari MP Ayub Savula of DAP-K stepped down in favor of former Ketraco managing director Fernandes Barasa of ODM. Barasa will battle it out with Senator Cleophas Malala.
The battle for the western region has seen Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula work on their campaign strategy to deliver at least 70 percent of the 2.2 million votes to the Kenya Kwanza vote basket in exchange for 30 per cent of government position if the Ruto-led team wins.
Kakamega has the largest share of votes at 841,139, followed by Bungoma (644,233), Busia (406,569), and Vihiga (304, 765).
Odinga received 1.186 million votes in 2017, compared to Kenyatta’s 242,388 in Western. Despite Odinga’s popularity in the region, Jubilee had 12 Members of parliament.
It is such shifts that the Ruto-led team says that if they give heavy focus on the region, they might be able to snatch it from Odinga.
Odinga’s team has also dismissed the entry of Kenya Kwanza into the region, saying that Mudavadi and Wetan’gula have not delivered tangible votes in the past elections.