The constitutional process of filling the seats of Member of Parliament for Matungu Constituency in Kakamega County and Kabuchai Constituency in Bungoma County that both fell vacant late 2020 following the death of Hon. Justus Murunga and James Lusweti respectively kicked off on 18th January 2021 and will culminate with the registered voters casting their votes on 4th March 2021 to elect their new members of Parliament to represent them for the next sixteen or so months before the August 2022 General Elections.
The two by-elections in Matungu and Kabuchai Constituencies are being held at a time when there is heightened, high octane politicking in the Country characterized and being constructed as a prelude, testing, configuration of the 2020 General Elections and which will entail the departure of Kenya’s 4th President Uhuru Kenyatta who is Constitutionally ineligible to run for the office of President of the Republic of Kenya then.
The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Constitutional Amendment process that kicked off last year with the submissions of over One Million signatures to the IEBC for the amendment of the Constitution through a popular initiative under Article 157 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 will certainly be a key plank of the campaigns in Matungu and Kabuchai and intertwined with the succession politics of the Kenyan Presidency in 2022. There is likelihood that those two dynamics will shape and over dominate the two by-elections to the detriment of the real issues that are local, unique and pressing for the people of the two constituencies.
Whatever trajectory, character, shape the two By-elections take let peace, sobriety, respect and reason be the guide for all the protagonists, competitors the electorate, the people of the two Constituencies.
The youth are the majority of the voters. They are equally the most disadvantaged by the politics of Kenya that has systematically marginalized them, made them the targets of old politicians who at every electoral cycle cheat them, lie to them about grand plans, promises to address the unemployment monster but once elected those politicians change the promises or conveniently forget them. The youth must keep the peace and be careful not to be made instruments of violence.
Let all those competing in the By Elections sell, articulate, present, market their reasons, plans, blue-prints and at the end of it let the people of the two constituencies exercise their free choice to elect who represents them in the National Assembly. As expected there will be troves of politicians from outside the region who will come calling to campaign for their candidates. Let us welcome them, let us hear them but at the end of the day the choice, the free choice must remain of the registered voters of Matungu and Kabuchai. So let us shun the abuses that characterized the recent Msambweni By-Election in 2020. We must avoid hysteria. We must maintain decorum, respect for all candidates and their backers and ourselves the people of the two constituencies.
We look forward to bringing you coverage of peaceful and enlightening political discourse. That is what democracy is supposed to be and that is what our Constitution ordains.