Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa has joined the crowded race for Trans Nzoia Governors seat in 2022.
According to a close aide who requested anonymity, Wamalwa has started assembling a think tank of professionals, his old friends and some of his ardent supporters that he had abandoned when he was named Cabinet Secretary.
However, Wamalwa himself has remained non committal and did not respond to calls when asked if he will vie for the Governors seat.
Speaking to Hot News, residents said Eugene’s entry into the race means Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa who has been crisscrossing the County to popularize himself will have it rough at the ballot.
Others said since the Devolution CS failed to contest in 2013 and 2017 respectively and that this has drastically reduced his chances of winning.
Some say Chris might have an upper hand over him.
“The entry of Eugene will force Chris to defend his Kiminini parliamentary seat. Or else he will be forgotten just like former minister Henry Kosgey or former Bumula MP Bifwoli Wakoli”said Timothy Kiprop, Eugene’s supporter and a political analyst.
Others who want to succeed current Governor Patrick Khaemba whose term comes to an end are deputy president William Ruto’s aides Kakai Bisau and Abraham Sing’oei, businessman Moses Khaoya, former affirmative Action Fund coordinator Andrew Wanyonyi, Woman representative Janet Nangabo, Deputy Governor Stanley Tarus , former IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba and Trans Nzoia Finance CEC Boniface Wanyonyi.
Trans Nzoia Finance Chief Officer Professor Ben Wanjala is also reportedly salivating the Governors seat.
Residents said Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa has flexed his financial muscle and has been donating huge sums of money in funerals and other public events.
Wamalwa is a staunch Roman Catholic and believes he will consolidate votes from the church members.
Eugene supporters say he is also a church member who will destabilize Chris’s votes.
On the other hand, residents said Professor Wanjala is another professional whose candidature should not be dismissed.
Trans Nzoia residents have branded him “a man of the people “because during his stint at the county government, he used to give out cash to those with problems and was seen as Khaemba’s political face in his cabinet.
Kitale based pastor John Wanjala argues that:”Eugene has superior political brand image compared to his competitors”.
ANC national youth coordinator Sylvados Ambongo however differs with Wanjala saying owing to Eugene’s track record as Saboti MP in 2007-2013 he is best suited to be the Governor.
He says Andrew Wanyonyi has better managerial skills.
However, some members of the Sabaot community are skeptical about Eugene’s candidature.
“The Sabaot community suffered a lot during his stint as the MP for Saboti”said Luke Naibei,the chairman sabaot professional caucus.
Fred Mudachi,the acting ODM youth leader in Trans Nzoia said Kakai Bisau can make a good governor.
“He is approachable, a good manager and is not tribal compared to his competitors “ Mudachi said.