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Fireworks as Justus Murunga’s Widow Joins Matungu By-Elections Race

Christabel Murunga (in glasses)

(KDRTV) – The widow of the late Matungu MP Justus Murunga has joined the long list of candidates aiming to replace her husband in the National Assembly.

Mrs. Christabel Amunga Murunga has exclusively told KDRTV that she has joined the other candidates in the race. Murunga died in November.

“Yes I have joined the Matungu race to battle with the rest,” she said in an SMS, promising to get back with more details.

She has already been cleared by the Registrar of Political Parties to vie as an independent candidate in the mini-poll slated for March next year.

A letter from the Political Parties Registrar Anne Nderitu stated that Mrs. Murunga is not a registered member of any political outfit and is, therefore, free to vie as an independent candidate.

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Mrs. Murunga has been cleared by the registrar of political parties

The late MP’s widow is banking on the hope that she can get sympathy votes to complete her husband’s work. Murunga died in November after serving for only three years.

Kenyans are known to vote for relatives of deceased politicians in by-elections following their demise. The most recent example is when Msambweni residents elected Feisal Bader, kin of their late MP Suleiman Dori, who succumbed to cancer in March. Imran Okoth replaced his brother Ken Okoth in Kibra.

In 2017, Kitui West residents elected Edith Nyenze following the untimely demise of their then MP, Francis Nyenze. It is a long list.

However, things are different for Mrs. Murunga as she will face stiff competition from political heavyweights in the constituency. The by-elections have attracted the interest of ODM leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto as they battle for supremacy ahead of the 2022 elections.

Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC) has already nominated businessman Oscar Peter Nabulindo. Nabulindo came second, behind Murunga, in the 2017 elections.

He ran on a Ford Kenya ticket at the time. But this time, Mudavadi and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula agreed to field a joint candidate and settled on Nabulindo. Word on the ground is he is the most sellable candidate in the region.

Though ODM has not settled on a candidate, our sources have intimated that the Orange ticket will go to Paul Posho. Posho works in the office of Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya as a political analyst.

Oparanya is under pressure to deliver the Matungu seat to the Raila Odinga-led party. ODM performed dismally in the 2017 elections, winning only two out of the 12 parliamentary seats in Kakamega.

Buoyed by their win in Msambweni, DP William Ruto’s Hustler Nation has also indicated that they will field a candidate in the polls. The DP’s allies, led by former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale and Mumias East MP Ben Washiali have launched grassroots mechanisms to find a suitable candidate to support. Despite being an ANC MP, Murunga had joined the DP’s camp and was one of his henchmen in Western Kenya. Could the Hustler Nation support his widow?

Jubilee is also expected to field a candidate in the race, having kept off the Msambweni polls only for the ODM candidate to be floored by Tanga Tanga.

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