Voting got underway in Bungoma on Thursday, December 8th, 2022 in a by-election to replace the National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula as the county’s Senator.
The seat fell vacant after former Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula resigned and successfully vied for National Assembly Speaker.
On Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 the candidates made their final pitches to the electorate with each saying they are best suited to replace Mr Wetang’ula.
At around 6:40 am, Speaker Wetang’ula arrived at Namakhele primary school in Kabuchai constituency to cast his vote.
In the race are former Bumula Member of Parliament (MP) Mwambu Mabonga who is contesting on President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket, Wetangula’s aide Wafula Wakoli of Ford Kenya
Former Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi of the former Defence Cabinet Secretary (CS) led Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) an affiliate of Azimio is banking on his experience having represented the constituency for three terms to win the support of 559,850 voters.
The other aspirants in the race are Elias Barasa of People’s Empowerment Party and Enock Opara, Julius Masinde and Radon Munoko who are independent candidates.
Others are Dr Fredrick Busolo of Vibrant Democracy Party, Aaron Wafula (Republican Liberty Party), Geofrey Barasa (National Ordinary People Empowerment Union) and Robert Sifuna (Roots Party of Kenya).
Opinion polls have placed Mabonga, Wakoli and Wamunyinyi as front runners in the race to succeed Wetang’ula.
Dr Busolo claimed that pollsters could be misleading the voters and that the people should expect a surprise during announcement of the results.
“The pollsters and media are projecting it as a three-horse race but we have talked to be people and feel that they are indeed tired of the ‘three horses’ as they are old faces who have either served disgracefully or belong to the apathy that has tortured the people of Bungoma,” he said.
The IEBC county boss Grace Rono assured the electorate and candidates of a free and fair election.
Rono noted that the county tallying centre will be at Mabanga Agricultural Training Centre while there are 1,373 polling stations.
The tallying centre per constituency are Elgon at Kapsokwony DEB Primary School, Sirisia at Sirisia Vocational Training Institute, Kimilili at Matili Technical Training Institute and Kabuchai at Kisiwa Technical Training Institute.
Tongaren will have Bungoma North Vocational Training Institute, Webuye West at St Antony Primary School of the deaf, Webuye East at St Mathews ACK Primary School, Kanduyi at Kibabii University and in Bumula at Kimatuni parish.