Careers of political heavyweights crumble in race for Senate seats
KENYA: Political careers came tumbling as heavyweights who had gone for prestigious senatorial positions lost in several counties.
A good number of ministers in the grand coalition Government had opted for senatorial seats and not defended their parliamentary seats.
Industrialisation minister and ODM chairman Henry Kosgey, Water Minister Charity Ngilu, Environment minister Ali Chirau Mwakwere and immediate former Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara are some of those who had either conceded or were headed for a loss by the time of going to press on Tuesday.
Information Minister Samuel Poghisio, immediate former Nambale MP Chris Okemo and his Lugari counterpart Cyrus Jirongo were also staring defeat in the face.
The big winners, however, included Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi, Kanu National Chairman Gideon Moi, Lands Minister James Orengo, Trade Minister Moses Wetangula, Assistant Defence Minister David Musila, immediate former Kangundo MP Johnstone Muthama and former Attorney General Amos Wako.
Mrs Ngilu was on Tuesday trailing Musila, the Wiper Democratic Movement national chairman, for the Kitui County senatorial seat. Mr Musila was tipped to carry the day.
In Meru County, Mr Murungi, the Alliance Party of Kenya leader, emerged a big winner against his rival Imanyara of CORD, who gracefully conceded defeat.
Mr Kosgey also conceded defeat in the Nandi County race after youthful lawyer Stephen Sang took an early lead in the senatorial race.
His defeat brings to an end close to 30 years the former Tinderet MP has been in elective politics as MP. The ODM chairman is, however, among those who had been earmarked by the party for nomination to Parliament as a soft-landing just in case they lost in the election.
According to provisional senatorial results from Baringo County, Mr Moi had attained 62,760 votes against his closest rival Bishop Jackson Koskei of URP.
Mr Poghisio was trailing former PS John Lonyangapuo (Kanu) and immediate former Kapenguria legislator Julius Murgor.
Prof Lonyangapuo was provisionally leading with 8,967 votes followed by Mr Murgor with 1,607 and Poghisio in the third place with 1,408.
Mr Poghisio hails from Kacheliba Constituency whereas Prof Lonyangapuo is from Kapenguria.
The county tallying centre was expected to receive data from Pokot South, Sigor, Kapenguria and Kacheliba constituencies, which have 101, 123, 176 polling stations respectively.
According to provisional results, Mr Muthama, who faced lawyer Bonface Kabaka (Ford-People), for the Senate race was headed for victory in Machakos County.
In Busia County, Mr Wako, who ran on an ODM ticket under the CORD coalition, humbled Chris Okemo, the immediate former Nambale MP.
And youthful law scholar Kipchumba Murkomen floored former powerful Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott to clinch the Elgeyo-Marakwet County senatorial seat.
Mr Murkomen, a newcomer in politics, rode in on a URP ticket.
According to provisional results by on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Mwakwere was trailing youthful Juma Boy in his bid to capture the Kwale Senatorship.
In Bungoma County, Mr Wetangula was ahead of former ministers Dr Mukhisa Kituyi and Musikari Kombo in the Senate race.
Fiery former Ikolomani legislator Boni Khalwale took a comfortable lead ahead of immediate former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo in Kakamega Senate race.
While Dr Khalwale is allied to the Amani coalition, Mr Jirongo who was the Federal Party of Kenya leader, ran under the CORD flagship.
Former minister Mutahi Kagwe on Tuesday took the lead in Nyeri County, against other key contestants such as immediate former Mathira MP Ephraim Maina and former minister Chris Murungaru.
In Siaya County, Mr Orengo was headed for a resounding victory.
ODM ministers Anyang Nyong’o and Otieno Kajwang were also likely to secure Kisumu and Homa Bay Senate seats respectively.
In Mombasa County, the race for Senate remained a close one between Ramadhan Kajembe, Najib Balala and Hassan Omar, while in Kisii County, ministers Chris Obure and Sam Ongeri faced a serious challenge from former Assistant Minister Omingo Magara of PDP.
In Turkana County, Labour minister John Munyes maintained a straight lead in five key constituencies and was set to take over the Senatorial seat.
Provisional results indicated Mr Munyes was likely to floor former Turkana Central MP Ekwee Ethuro.
On Tuesday evening, Mr Munyes had garnered 7,115 votes in Turkana South Constituency while Mr Ethuro had 3,350 votes.