A planned anointing of Kakamega ODM gubernatorial aspirant Fernandez Barasa aborted  after the arrival of his main rival, Kenya Kwanza’s Cleophas Malalah.

The entire programme was thrown into disarray as county honchos consulted on how to accommodate the “intruder”.  Malala sat pensively, albeit satisfied with the disquiet he had caused the county executive. 

In the company of thousands of supporters, Malalah stormed the venue, Bukhungu Stadium, where the ceremony was disguised as a luncheon for county staff to mark 10 years of devolution. Barasa and Azimio candidates were special guests of Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.

It took the intervention of anti-riot police to stop the surging Malala supporters from entering the venue. Food and soft drinks were in plenty.  Several teargas canisters were fired to disperse the rowdy crowd.

In the meantime, Malalah, who had spent Friday morning in court after a voter challenged his academic qualifications, sat at the same table as Barasa, Lugari MP Ayub Savula and Azimio Woman MP candidate Elsie Muhanda.

Two metres away sat  Governor Oparanya, his wife Priscilla and Azimio Senate aspirant Brian Lishenga. Malala’s running mate, Beatrice Inyangala, arrived shortly afterwards and sat next to him. 

Tension was high inside and outside the venue as Malalah supporters shouted at Oparanya and his alleged project — Barasa.

County officials consulted with Oparanya after which political speeches were excluded. Only Oparanya was allowed to greet the guests present.

Azimio campaigns in the county have had a lack of coordination and strategy. The Bukhungu meeting was intended to hand Barasa the county administrative structure for use in his campaign.

It took Oparanya one-and-a-half hours to read his written speech in the noisy venue. He dwelt on unfinished projects, including  Bukhungu Stadium, a Level Six hospital, local roads, a farm subsidy programme and the county governance structure.

By People Daily

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