Close to twenty Members of the County Assembly in Bungoma have been holding secret meetings to back Kimilili MP Didimus Barasa for the County’s top seat in 2022.
The MCAs, drawn from Jubilee Party, Ford Kenya and other affiliations have been meeting at least three different hotels and gardens within and in the outskirts of Bungoma town.
Their latest meeting was last Friday evening at a hotel in Kanduyi after another one was held in the evening of 21st January, 2019 at Rock Gardens Hotel near Nabongo TTC, this website can confirm.
In a meeting privy to this writer, among the agenda the MCAs discussed included recruiting ‘ward ambassadors’ in all the 45 wards who will act as point-men in their areas.
One of the MCAs who has been leading these meetings accidentally bumped into this writer at the same venue but requested for anonymity for fear of being victimized by her parent political party confessed that there is something cooking ahead of 2022.
“I don’t expect you to publish this story on your blog but just know we are working on a different strategy for Didi (read Didimus) to clinch this thing. Hiyo tu!” Said the MCA.
The Kimilili MP gained the popularity with his #KimililiPeopleFirst slogan and campaign immediately he was elected in August 2018, flooring the then incumbent and moneybag Suleiman Murunga of Ford Kenya with a margin of more than 7,000 votes.
It was a surprise victory for the former military cadet who was vying for the second time but on a Jubilee ticket in a region that was breathing the opposition NASA.
Mr Barasa then embarked on bringing down grass-thatched houses for less-fortunate families and replacing them with iron sheet roofs. More than 300 families are said to have benefited from the MP’s charity so far.
Other areas the MP has left a name include the education sector which has seen close to 200 needy students join learning institutions to pursue their studies among other projects that have empowered the women and youth groups in his constituency.
— K24 TV (@K24Tv) November 29, 2018
However, what has made the MP even more popular is his constant appearances on national televisions on talk shows that has earned him friends and foes.
Didmus Barasa (Kimilili MP) on the KCPE top performers: I believe that every child has an opportunity to shine in every aspect of life despite the results they got. Not everyone will become a doctor but can shine in what they choose to do #DayBreak pic.twitter.com/DKnUF9i5j1
— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) November 21, 2018
An ardent foot-soldier for Deputy President Dr. William Ruto, Mr Barasa, 37, appears to represent the new, fresh youthful leadership in the Bukusu land in the majority which is dominated by old guard politicians like the Ford Kenya party leader and Bingoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula, Wafula Wamunyinyi (Kanduyi, Ford Kenya), Dr Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren, Ford Kenya), James Lusweti Mukwe (Kabuchai, Ford Kenya) among others.
With the Bungoma County Assembly having 63 MCAs that include 18 nominated ones, more could join the Didimus camp with a source telling this site that the first-time MP could pull a serious financial muscle supported by various business class across the country to bankroll his campaign.
Whereas Governor Wycliffe Wangamati’s popularity has faded away after a slow start to his first term, locals could be tempted to replace him on the ballot in 2022.
Though Mr Wangamati is riding on the current road upgrade operation – a department that has received accolades from across the County, the upcoming Kanduyi-Musikoma super highway and the Industrial Park in Webuye whose recent benchmarking in Uganda allegedly cost the taxpayer Sh43 million even though the county officials have placed the figure to be Sh15 million, it’s still not a guarantee to earn him a second term in office.
Part of Governor Wycliffe Wangamati’s biggest undoing has been his PR team which has totally sidelined local media stations in terms of magnifying the Governor’s projects. Instead, the Governor has been accused of working with Sulweh FM and NTV, giving an opportunity for local media stations to mainly focus on the negative stories surrounding the Governor and sometimes ignoring to publish the Governor’s projects.
BUNGOMA DEPUTY Governor Ngome Kibanani taken to Nairobi Hospital after falling sick as he prepared to attend a talk show on Sulwe FM in Nairobi. https://t.co/GOEbiTgr9e
— NationBreakingNews (@NationBreaking) April 18, 2018
This way, the Governor has forgotten that the media stations too have their own trusted fans who believe in their content, a factor the Kimilili MP is keen to capitalise on.
SLEEPING COMMUNICATION TEAM
Many have faulted the Governor’s communication team led by Director of Communication Timothy Machi saying the team has failed to effectively magnify the governor’s development activities.
In November last year, a cloud of powerful individuals including two influential County Executive Committee Members (CECMs) close to the Governor had plotted to have Tim Machi removed from the Communication department and given “lighter duties”, claiming he has failed to brand the Governor, which may embarrassingly cost the governor a second term in office.
The cartels also claimed that Tim Machi has failed to control some members of his Communication Team with some known to constantly turn abusive whenever a member of the public raises some concerns on some issues on social media platforms, something that even damages the Governor’s image out there.
With a heavy funding, the same communication team again embarrassed the Governor when it stole a well-versed article by Blogger Wakajuaness of this popular site on the reigning Miss Tourism Bungoma Joyce Munyefu and presented it on the Governor’s official Facebook page as if it was their own without giving credit.
The issue greatly embarrassed the Governor, prompting Wangamati to personally apologise to Blogger Wakajuaness who had already received free legal team consisting of three popular city lawyers. that were already suing for plagiarism.
Since then, the department has ran out of ideas to brand the Governor, a factor that Didimus might capitalise on to pull a surprise in 2022.
But when conducted by this site, ‘Didi’ declined to talk about 2022.
“I this is not the right time to talk about 2022. As a leader, I am committed to serving my people,” said Mr Barasa who recently lost his guardian Dad Mzee Richard Makona.
Hon.@DidmusWaBarasa is currently at his rural home in Siuna Village, Kibingei finalizing the burial arrangements of his Old man Mzee Richard Makona/Msambichi. The body will be collected tommorow from the morgue then laid to rest on Satuarday 2nd February 2019.may his soul R.I.P pic.twitter.com/vaNjj3Q2KK
— Generali Oteng (@PeterOteng100) January 30, 2019