Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi had the last laugh when ANC’s Peter Nabulindo was declared the winner of the hotly contested by-election effectively recapturing the Matungu parliamentary seat in Kakamega.
The Matungu seat fell vacant on 14th November 2020 after the death of ANC Member of Parliament Justus Murunga who had defied Mudavadi and was a key ally of Deputy President William Ruto and his Tanga Tanga movement, often helping to arrange political meetings in the region.
Nabulindo defied the onslaught from ODM and UDA garnering 14, 257 votes against ODM’s David Were who received 10, 565 votes and UDA’s Alex Lanya of UDA who got 5, 513 votes. with independent Bernard Wakoli coming in fourth with 1, 536 votes. The late Murunga’s widow Christabel Amunga conceded and wished Nabulindo well.
The high octane campaigns degenerated into a contest between key politicians Mudavadi, Raila and Deputy President William Ruto who used the poll to gauge themselves ahead of the 2022 polls. All three are in the race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta and utilised the mini poll as a supremacy battle for the control of the Luhya bloc.
Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula used the polls to confirm their hold on the region while Raila used it to test his influence in the region that has supported him for close to two decades.
The greatest loser was Deputy President William Ruto who was using the outcome of the poll to gain a foothold and build on the Msambweni victory where he upset ODM by supporting an independent candidate.