The race to succeed Ayub Savula as Member of Parliament for Lugari, Kakamega County, is gaining momentum as different leaders join the competition, regarded as very unpredictable compared to previous elections.
One notable emerging personality is Bryan Liseche, whom political analysts say, despite this being his first trial, is not one to be taken for granted.
A former military officer, currently a businessman, Liseche’s name was nowhere before the 2017 general elections, and, just how swift he has climbed to be ranked the second most competitive after Kakamega ODM representative Nabii Nabwera is something worth observing.
Interesting to note is that he comes closer to Nabii Nabwera (who has contested twice but failed, and whose father was the first MP for Lugari) at least by the latest ranking by Mizani Africa, which places him at second position with a support rating of 27.9%, behind Nabii, who has 32.7%, and ahead of ODM Communications Director Philip Etale, who has 19.7%.
Such a rating is commendable for someone who joined politics barely five years ago and who is giving opponents who have more than 10 years of experience in politics a run for their money.
This could be informed by his tireless (rather shrewd) and consistent grassroot developmental record that he kickstarted nearly after the 2017 general elections as well as his network of youthful assistants he has designated at different points in the constituency.
His agenda for young people is notable and evident from the support he has been giving to youth groups, such as United Aids Lugari, a TV drama crew.
“I want the youth to know that I have a great purpose for them. I want to invest a lot in employment opportunities such that they won’t be forced to go to the city for work. I want them to stay here and invest at home, ” he had earlier told the Western Kenya Times.
Political policy, alignment
On January 11, 2022, Liseche announced that he would be contesting for the seat on Cyrus Jirongo’s United Democratic Party (UDP) ticket, a move political analysists say could be a blunder for his support base, considering the general attitude of electorates towards the party.
They assert that he will have to work a bit harder to convince some voters to look beyond the party and see a leader in him.
“I have decided that it is the UDP as early as this because, as a confident leader, I want to assert my will to the people to prove beyond any doubt that Lugari can awaken without putting political parties into much consideration. I am going to give them a run for their money. Wait and see,” he told the Western Kenya Times the day he received the ticket.
He had explained that one of the reasons he chose to run for the UDP was because he believes Jirongo was and continues to be a capable Luhya leader who requires the support of people like him.
“I was talking to him and shared with him a few tips on how it may be possible for him to sweep over Kakamega County,” he said.
Sam Oduor is the editor-in-chief at the Western Kenya Times who leverages the power of the Internet in telling stories that shape opinions.