They say desperate times need desperate measures. That in politics there are no permanent friends or enemies; only permanent interests.
Bungoma senator Moses Wetang’ula should be going through hard times indeed. The Ford-Kenya leader’s two benefactors – Bungoma governor Wycliffe Wangamati and his Trans Nzoia counterpart Patrick Khaemba – have separately withdrawn their weekly payout to their party boss
Those privy to the goingson say Wetang’ula has been collecting Sh200,000 from the two governors every Thursday to help the party leader “go around the country”.
Stung by the realisation that Wangamati had failed to honour his promise this time round, the Bungoma senator was recently overheard swearing to go for the governor’s seat in 2022, saying he would have, after all, served his two terms in the senate, therefore the need to serve in a bigger capacity as governor.
This comes as it emerged that Khaemba – the Trans Nzoia governor – had equally stopped the weekly payments in “facilitation fee” to Wetang’ula. Sources say Khaemba is convinced he has nothing to lose now that he was serving his second and final term.
Still, Khaemba strongly believes he did more than enough to pay the Ford Kenya boss millions of shillings in exchange for the hotly contested party ticket during the primaries that yielded many casualties.
It is widely believed that the immensely wealthy Wangamati also paid Wetang’ula millions of shillings to have a smooth sail to the top.
Now serving his first term, Wangamati mounted a glittering campaign against Jubilee’s Kenneth Lusaka, who enjoyed state machinery, unfettered opulence and the advantage of incumbency on the campaign trail.
The governor now understands the Ford-K boss was using the proceeds he draws from the county coffers to scheme to unseat him in 2022. In the runup to the 2017 polls, Wetang’ula was a constant figure in Wangamati’s election campaigns.
The senator’s new designs for the plum gubernatorial slot has since seen his younger brother, Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi, who has long been eyeing the Bungoma governorship, make a hasty retreat to instead go for Nairobi governorship.
The MP, perhaps informed by the need to avoid family conflicts in Bungoma, has effectively paved way for his elder brother’s political plans.
It is worth noting that Wetang’ula’s has of late been facing rebellion in his Ford Kenya outfit, with long overdue grassroots elections yet to be held.
Ford Kenya has been on a fast decline, falling from the roaring lion that it was under the leadership of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and Kijana Wamalwa to a colourless outfit under the leadership of Musikari Kombo, Eugene Wamalwa and now Wetang’ula.
It now emerges that the party leader and his secretary general Eseli Simiyu have been earmarked for removal. Already, the Kimilili MP is facing stiff challenge from his Kiminini counterpart Chris Wamalwa, who blames the SG for what he terms ineffectual leadership.
Wangamati and Khaemba are the only two governors elected on the Ford Kenya ticket, with Wetang’ula being the sole party senator. Such is the ignominy that saw Wetang’ula painfully bundled out of office as senate minority leader, leading to his infamous fallout with opposition chief Raila Odinga.
With less than 10 members in the national assembly, the party is desirous of a major overhaul where any remaining meaningful status be recouped. With Wangamati having fallen out with the senator, the man likely to give Wetang’ula sleepless nights is senate speaker Kenneth Lusaka. Sirisia MP John Waluke is also eyeing the plum county slot.