“The Bull Fighter Dr. Bonny Khalwale gored his way to parliament after emerging victorious in the completed Ikolomani parliamentary by-election with provisional results indicating to have won by 13208 votes against his rival Benard Shinali 10702 and 293 votes for Kizito . . .” reports West FM.
Here is a Friday, May 30 editorial from West FM ahead of Monday’s vote, articulating a view of Luhya tribal interests in the by-election–well worth a read to appreciate a major strain of thought in Kenyan politics, even after the 2007-08 tragedy:
“The Ikolomani bye-election to determine whether the Luhya community has the self belief and courage to go for the presidency of Kenya in 2012“
The new Constitution secures the right of all Constituencies in Kenya to receive equitable development regardless of which party the Constituency votes for. The template of dangling development projects using tax payers’ resources as a bait for the electorate to vote for a party is unconstitutional and plain corruption and impunity.
The Ikolomani Constituency Bye-election to be held on 23/05/2011 is not about which of those competing candidates will or will not bring development to the Constituency. Which development can whoever is elected deliver in the remaining twelve months before the next General Elections slated under the new Constitution for August 2012? The Ikolomani Constituency Bye-election is being quietly watched for what its results will portend and give bearing as to how the 2012 Kibaki succession shapes up in the coming months.
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A vote for the ODM Candidate will be a clear statement that Western Kenya is not interested in and has no confidence in itself to be a contender for the 2012 Presidential Race. That will be as clear as daylight granted the ODM Presidential baton for 2012 is irretrievably in the “safe” and hands of Hon. Raila Odinga and let nobody fool you that he will surrender it to anybody come rain come sunshine unless Hon. Raila leaves that party.
Yes the ODM vote will be the loudest confession by Western Kenya through the people of Ikolomani as a microcosm that the Luhya Community is happy and contended to play second, third or fourth fiddle going into the 2012 Presidential Race.
A vote for New Ford Kenya in the By-elections on the other hand will be the loudest statement that Western Kenya and the Luhya Community is in the race for the Presidency of Kenya in 2012 regardless of who will be its eventual flag bearer whether it be Hon. Musalia Mudavadi or Hon. Eugene Wamalwa. A vote for New Ford Kenya will be the voice of the people of Western Kenya to their present crop of leaders that they must put their act together and present Western Kenya’s and the Luhya Community’s bid for the Presidency in 2012 just as the Kalenjin Community has Hon. William Ruto as representing their Presidential ambition and the Kikuyu Community has Hon. Martha Karua and Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, the Kamba Community have Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka and the Luo Community has Hon. Raila Odinga.
The question at the moment is not whether or not Western Kenya’s Presidential contender will win or not in 2012 but that for Western Kenya to ever hope for the Presidency or anything else it must first be in the race or in the competition and put in an application for the job through a candidate. And the people of Ikolomani Constituency know the name of the game through their colorful sport of bull fighting and where one cannot win a bull fight unless of course one has his bull in the contest, in the Arena, in Malinya Stadium.
The Ford People Candidate in the Ikolomani Constituency Bye-election is the only candidate whose candidature does not spill into the permutations of the 2012 Presidential Elections of Kenya and may be that one can say he should be judged without the blinkers of the 2012 Presidential race and therefore whether or not he has the ability to discharge the function of an MP.
Yes, all watchers of how the Presidential Race, jigsaw for 2012 will pan out are watching how Western Kenya’s dress rehearsal (through the Bye-election) of what role it will play, whether it will be a player or part of the cheering crowd, what political weight, value, price to assign Western Kenya in the political alliances, coalitions that will shape the 2012 Presidential Race.
The people of Ikolomani Constituency will on 23/05/2011 die the cast for Western Kenya and the Luhya Community as to whether the region has the ambition , gravitas and whether it will have its own veritable bull in Kenya’s 2012 Presidential Race or not. In 1995 when Ikolomani Constituency held a similarly charged bye-election that Benjamin Magwaga won, it had the choice of the late Michael Wamalwa Kijana representing the Luhya Community’s urge for the Presidency on one side and President Moi on the other and the Ikolomani people chose President Moi. . . .
See the updated Wikipedia entry for quick analysis, and see Opalo’s Blog for the thoughts of a diaspora political science graduate student at Stanford.