By Collins Matubwi and Tony Wafula
As the clock is fast trickling towards the 2022 General Elections, candidates seeking to dethrone the current Trans Nzoia Senator Michael Mbito have started mushrooming.
Those seeking the senatorial seat must come from the Sabaot community as per the Mabanga Accord since the governorship position is a reserve for the Bukusu community and Deputy Governor position goes for the Nandi community.
And if elections were to be held today, Senator Mbito will still be re-elected if anything is to go by.
This is according to an opinion poll that was commissioned by the County Splash, an online news website that was carried out between 5th – 21st April in Trans Nzoia County where a total of 3,761 people were reached through an online survey, one on one interviews, phone calls as well as filling of questionnaires.
Senator Mbito in the polls emerged at position one with 25.17 per cent (947 people) according to the polls. He was followed by Ex-Senator Henry ole Ndiema at 18.2 per cent (685 votes) followed by Former Agriculture Minister Kipruto Arap Kirwa at the third position with 17.23 per cent (648 votes).
Former Kwanza Parliamentary aspirant Allan Chesang’ was ranked at the fourth position with 8.32 per cent (313 votes) while the fifth position went to the current Trans County Assembly Speaker Joshua Werunga with 6.70 per cent (252 votes).
Former nominated Senator Catherine Mukite was ranked at position 6 with 121 votes which represents 3.21 per cent of the sampled population.
Alex Matere was ranked at the seventh position with 3.01 per cent (113 votes) followed by Nickson Mutuku at 2.93 per cent (110 votes) at the eighth position whereas Andrew Wafula and Richard Chesebe were ranked at position 9 and 10 with 2.87 per cent (108 votes) and 1.05 per cent (39 votes) respectively.
A total of 425 people which constitutes 11.31 per cent of the population reached were undecided.
Senator Mbito is famed for his consistency in politics as well as his philanthropic work. Being an incumbent, also gives him an upper position ahead of the other candidates.
He is also the chairman of the powerful Health committee in the Senate as well as his financial ability, Mbito has good relations with the Governor Patrick Khaemba and a host of local leaders including Deputy President Dr. William Ruto.
Mbito’s name is also well spread in the county in addition to his unitary Sabaot sub tribe that voted for him to the last person in the last polls. The Sabaot community is also the third populous in the county.
However, his tribe is unhappy with the way Mr. Mbito has been carrying out his oversight role.
For Henry Ole Ndiema, he is a household name having served as the first senator in the advent of devolution. Ndiema enjoys the support Ford Kenya that is headed by Moses Wetang’ula, a political kingpin in the region as well as having financial muscles.
The Mabanga Accord also favors him given that he hails from Sabaot community. He is however not generous as per the majority views, not consistent in his political career.
Former Agriculture Minister Kipruto Arap Kirwa is a political power house in Trans Nzoia and has vied for two times in 2013 and 2017 where he emerged position two and three respectively.
Kirwa has a successful political career as a lawmaker for Cherang’any and also a minister in the Narc government. Kipruto is vocal and has a strong financial base as well as being a close ally to the Deputy President, Dr Ruto. However, the Nandi factor has always worked against his political career as they are supposed to go for the deputy governor seat according to the Mabanga Accord.
The generous and youthful politician Allan Chesang’ is also well known in the area, thanks to his oratory prowess, financial stability and having vied for Kwanza parliamentary seat and emerged position three.
He is also a close ally of Dr. Ruto. As per the Mabanga Accord, Nandi’s are supposed to produce deputy governors which is a limitation in addition to having poor political strategies including his inexperienced advisors.
Chesang’ is irrational and has been hit by several scandals that is working against his political ambitions.
For Joshua Werunga, the current Speaker of Trans Nzoia County Assembly. He vied for the Kwanza MP seat in the last polls and came second to Ferdinand Wanyonyi, the current lawmaker.
His oratory skills makes him popular in the county though he is inconsistent in his political career and not be trusted due to party hoping. He vied for Endebes and Kwanza parliamentary seats respectively in 2013 and 2017 .Werunga is perceived to be financially unstable and just like other aspirants,he is inconvenienced by the Mabanga accord.
Former Nominated Senator Catherine Mukite is the only female aspirant in the county and has a huge following from women. Having been a senatorial aspirant in the 2017 elections where she emerged position three. Being a woman, it complicates her matrix due to male chauvinism.
Alex Matere is the national youth BBI coordinator and as youth, he has a little support from the youths. He is financially unstable and by him supporting ODM leader, Raila Odinga, it makes the locals not to trust him with their votes owing to how he worked in orchestrating the fall of the late Vice President, Kijana Wamalwa.
Nickson Mutuku, who is a contractor with the County Government of Trans Nzoia cum seasoned businessman enjoys a small margin of the youths and is however disadvantaged by the fact that he is a Kamba.
He is financially unstable and has a history of political failure having vied 3 times unsuccessfully for MCA position for Nabiswa ward. Andrew Nabiswa is an unpopular candidate who came position emerged 4th in the senatorial nominations ahead of the 2017 polls.
He is inconsistent in politics and lack funds to run a spirited campaign.