Courtesy The Weekly Citizen
William Ruto’s campaign team has a cool budget of Sh100 million for Kabuchai by-election, which will be held on March 4. According to an insider, five MPs in Bungoma county allied to the DP camp is each to get Sh10 million to facilitate the campaigns.
The MPs have each been picking Sh500,000 every week since the day of party primaries. If each MP gets Sh10 million to hit the ground in favour of UDA’s Evans Kakai by the time elections are held, a total of Sh50 million will have been used. The remaining Sh50 million is to be used on transport, publicity that includes printing of T-shirts, posters and other logistics. UDA campaign strategists have an allowance of Sh2, 000 per day. Party agents will be transported to various polling stations on the D-day after spending two nights at a specific hotel.
Hotel budget has been put at Sh1 million. Agents are to be paid Sh15,000 each according to a source within the campaign team. The team of strategists has also compiled a voters’ list friendly to UDA candidate, Kakai. According to the list, UDA wants to start with a minimum of 10,000 assured voters. The said voters are each to receive Sh1,000 per week on what is termed as facilitation fee. Approximately Sh40 million has been budgeted for so-called special voters. With 10,000 votes to start with, being a by-election and going by the fact the late James Lusweti who was elected on Ford-K ticket got 18,400 to emerge the winner 2017, Kakai will carry the day.
Kabuchai has 57,476 registered voters as per 2017 Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission voters register. UDA is targeting 15,000 votes in the by-election. A move to fund MPs individually from Hustler Centre was reached after it emerged that pro-Ruto allied MPs were fighting on who to control the funds. This could have led to a bitter fallout. Sirisia MP John Waluke, by virtue of being UDA Bungoma branch chairman, wanted to coordinate and manage the kitty. However, Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, Dan Wanyama (Webuye West) and Bumula’s Mwambu Mabonga were opposed to the move. They argued that Waluke is experiencing financial troubles and being in charge of the funds would have complicated matters.
A deal was then struck for each MP to get Sh10 million but spread across the campaign period. Already, a section of those in Kakai campaign team are complaining that the MPs are shortchanging them. The race for the Kabuchai parliamentary by-election has narrowed down to a three horse race. Leading the park for the battle of honours is Majimbo Kalasinga of Ford-K. The party is seeking to retain the seat left vacant following the death of late James Lusweti.
The closest challenger to the lion’s party headed by Bungoma senator Moses Wetangula is Kakai of UDA associated with the DP. Analysts say Kakai is conducting a well oiled campaign and he may cause a surprise. The UDA candidate is a former Kenya Revenue Authority director. Another newcomer in Kabuchai politics is a doctor based in the United States of America, Gasper Wafubwa, who is running as an independent candidate. Wafubwa is appearing to be having deep pockets from the way he is running his campaigns aboard an expensive Hammer vehicle.