As several leaders across the country will be heading back to their villages rallying voters to give them a chance to represent them at various capacities, one elected leader in Bungoma County is not sure whether to appear on the ballot as an MP or aspiring Governor – and that is Jubilee’s John Waluke.
The Sirisia MP is facing the biggest dilemma in his political career as he ponders between fighting to retain his legislative seat or fulfilling his gubernatorial ambitions for Bungoma County.
But all this is a frustration from one youthful politician Moses Nandalwe. Mr Nandalwe, who vied against Mr. Waluke in the 2017 general election on an ODM ticket but lost, has vowed to clinch the seat away from the elderly Waluke.
The University of Dar es Salaam graduate with LL.B has gained popularity across the constituency due to his charitable activities that have seen his Nandalwe Foundation change the lives of the locals including drilling safe drinking water and providing free ambulance services in Sirisia Constituency for emergency medical appeals.
But it’s not only Nandalwe’s rising popularity that is itching Waluke’s head; the moneybag leader has also offered an incredible deal to the former Bungoma County ODM Chairman. The Sh5 million if he abandons his current Sirisia legislative seat and vie for the guberantorial seat currently being held by Governor Wycliffe Wangamati.
With a free Sh5,000,000 tabled before him as support for his gubernatorial campaign, Waluke may be tempted to to give the big seat a trial.
But with Waluke’s popularity and ability to win the prestigious seat in doubt, the outspoken MP may as well decide to battle it out with Nandalwe, a bet that he is still not sure of.
Mr Moses Nandalwe address a mammoth crowd in Sirisia Constituency last year. PHOTO/COURTESY
According to an insider in Waluke’s camp who whispered to this writer, Waluke is still not sure what to do as the rising popularuty of the young the 33-year old former Kamusinga High School student is not something to gain sleep for.
“Nandalwe is actually giving us a headache and even my boss Waluke is still pondering about the Sh5 million offer as support from Nandalwe,” said one of Waluke’s aid who requested for anonymity for fear of being victimized.
“But accepting the deal and vying for the big seat will mean Waluke has chickened out and displaying a financial desperation,” he added.
But pundits have read strategy in Nandalwe’s offer as a trick to influence Waluke pave way for him to win the legislative seat.
The dual have had a series of drama as each seek to mobilize support from the locals ahead of the 2022 general election.
Last year, several people were hospitalised after goons attacked a rally organised by Mr. Nandalwe. Mr Nandalwe accused Waluke for allegedly masterminding the attacks for fear of Nandalwe’s fame, the claims Waluke dismissed.
Recently at a public function in Sirisia where the two shared a platform, Mr Nandalwe faulted Waluke for creating unnecessary enmity instead of joining him to bring development in the area.
“I want to tell my MP here Mzee Waluke; I respect you as my MP but I also want you to respect me and the development I bring to these people even if I am not an elected leader,” said Nandalwe as Waluke lined up to take the microphone.
“As I do my best to boost water supply, food security and quality service delivery to our people in Sirisia, I urge you to also take advantage of being in Jubilee Government to bring development to our people instead of fighting me,” he added.
See video here.
With Waluke now serving his second term as MP for Sirisia, it will be interesting to watch his next move.