A few hours remaining before voters in Kakamega County and other places where elections were called off choose their leaders in an election marred with controversies of voter apathy and irregularities.
The whole country is eager to know who between Fernandes Barasa of ODM and Cleophas Malala of ANC (the most popular candidates from list of seven) will fit into the shoes of outgoing Governor Wycliffe Oparanya of Kakamega County.
Lugari, a constituency that lies north of Kakamega, is presenting its able son, former MP Ayub Savula, as deputy governor to Fernandes Barasa, and at the same time placing its bid high in negotiating for county resources, opportunities and privileges.
This is despite the diminishing hope of Lugari people in the former MP whose track record failed to shine bright for the 10 years he has been in office.
Lugari and other sub-counties in the north, Likuyani and Malava, have always lamented of being isolated from the rest of the county in the distribution of resources and opportunities to youths.
Since the new 2010 Constitution became functional, top leaders in the Kakamega County Government, including the governor and senators, have been coming from the southern part.
Wycliffe Oparanya, the outgoing governor, comes from Butere, a constituency in the south.
Boni Khalwale, who is the current Senator, hails from Khwisero Constituency, which is in the south as well as former Senator and gubernatorial candidate Cleophas Malala, who comes from Lurambi Constituency.
What chance does Savula present to Lugari as Deputy Governor?
Savula is arguably the most successful politician in Lugari and north of Kakamega, having served his constituency for 10 consecutive years after being elected in both the 2013 and 2017 general elections and having served in the capacity of a deputy party leader in ANC and currently holding the same position in DAP-K, which is affiliated with the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance.
A deputy governor holds the second most powerful position in the county after the governor. He or she is in a better position to suggest the appointment of cabinet ministers to the county government, advise the governor on developmental projects, ensure equitable allocation of county resources and projects as well as influence the county assembly’s tabling and passing of bills.
A deputy governor deputizes the governor in his or her absence and is entitled to succeed him or her in the event of death.
If the wishes of the deputy governor’s people back at home are in his or her interest, then sure they stand a better chance to bargain for the county cake.
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.