Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya on Tuesday warned five MPs from the county supporting the Jubilee Party to prepare for a backlash from voters who are unhappy with their decision to associate with the ruling coalition.
Mr Oparanya told MPs Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East), Malulu Injendi (Malava), David Were (Matungu), Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani) and Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo), to be careful about their decision to back Jubilee in the county perceived as an ODM stronghold.
“I’m asking the five MPs to carefully weigh the political mood in Kakamega and stop engaging in a gamble that will backfire after the August polls,” said the governor.
Four of the MPs, except Mr Shinali, have ruled out working with the opposition saying it lacks a serious development agenda for communities in western Kenya.
Mr Washiali, a key Jubilee point-man, said those asking communities in western Kenya to support the National Super Alliance (Nasa) are wasting time.
“Our decision to support Jubilee is not a gamble since we are confident President Uhuru Kenyatta will be re-elected easily,” said Mr Washiali.
Mr Shinali said if Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi is picked as the opposition flag bearer, he would reconsider his support for Jubilee.
Mr Oparanya spoke at the county headquarters on Tuesday after former Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito ditched Jubilee Party and re-joined ODM.
The former MP was in 2016 appointed as one of the campaigners for President Uhuru Kenyatta in Kakamega.
“I have been forced to yield to pressure from my supporters to ditch Jubilee and join ODM which is the party of the moment in Kakamega County,” said Mr Kizito.
Mr Kizito’s return of to ODM opens a fresh battle for the party’s ticket between him and incumbent MP Silverse Anami.
Mr Kizito narrowly lost to Mr Anami in the 2013 elections.
He said he had decided to listen to his supporters who demanded he should contest the Shinyalu seat on an ODM ticket.
But his move has drawn criticism from some ODM officials and supporters in Shinyalu who accuse Mr Kizito of being a Jubilee mole.
At the same time, Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale has cautioned Jubilee leaders in Western Kenya to prepare to exit the political scene after the August 8 elections.
Dr Khalwale said Jubilee “had come to the end of the road in western” and any leader associated with it must prepare for a big loss.
Additional reporting by Justus Ochieng