Bonchari by-election; a case of racing against money

The Bonchari by-election slated for May 18 is arguably the most well funded in the recent past.

The 13 candidates cleared by IEBC have been traversing the Constituency making their last campaign attempts in a bid to clinch the seat left vacant by the late John Oroo.

The game among some of the candidates has been on trying to outdoor each other financially.

With IEBC having banned Political rallies during the campaigns and in strict adherence to Covid-19 measures, the majority of the candidates have been attending various churches during weekends.

It is during the church services that they have hugely been contributing to various church infrastructure.

On a good day, leading candidates have been spending up to a tune of Sh300,000 each. The money is given out in form of cement, cash or delivering iron sheets.

They have also been giving out handouts to locals in what is referred to as ‘Ogosera’ in the Ekegusii language.

The campaigns have led to the paralysis of agriculture activities in the past three weeks. Locals have been waking up early in the morning and forced to wait for their luck along the roadsides.

The ODM candidate, Eng Pavel Oimeke who resigned from the prestigious Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority has been giving out large sums of money. During the fund drives, he also gives out cash allegedly sent to him by his party leader Raila Odinga.

According to Oimeke, he is ready to change the style of leadership that has been experienced in the area in the last couple of years.

“We need to transform our community. Let them understand that they can excel in school, agriculture and in sports. Development is a right for our people.”

Zepedo Opore, the Jubilee Candidate in the by-election is said to be receiving Government support. Influential Government officials working at the National are said to be oiling his campaigns.

The former legislator says he is best suited to clinch the seat.

UDA’s Terresa Bitutu who is also the widow of the late MP Oroo has been receiving support from UDA’s allied parties as well as from Deputy President William Ruto’s friends.

Flamboyant Nairobi based Lawyer Cliff Ombeta has been campaigning for Bitutu.

She says she will be making history in becoming the first-ever elected Woman MP from the Gusii region. “We need to hold peaceful campaigns. Let us give women Candidates reasons to vie for more Political seats in the coming days.”

Other candidates in the race include; American based businessman Jonah Ondieki who will fly The New Democrats (TND) ticket, Victor Omanwao- People’s Economic Development (PED), Charles Mogaka- Progressive Party of Kenya (PPK), David Ogega- Kenya Social Congress), Kevin Mosomi-PDU, and Eric Oigo- National Reconstruction Alliance.

By Frank Akunga

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