2007 Political Hotspots: Lugari Constituency

As the home of the founder of the energized drive to create the Luhya unity, the direction that the unity takes will be main determinant of how things will shape up in Lugari.

In 2002, the charismatic Jirongo, who was almost single-handedly founded YK 92 to drum up support for former President Moi in the first multi-party elections, was swept aside by the Narc wave.

He was replaced by Dr Enock Kibuguchy, the assistant Minister for Health. A pragmatic politician, he jumped ship to Ford Kenya after the loss and began rebuilding his networks in the province. Last year, he bought Kaddu which he intends to use in his race to Parliament. In the same year, he began the Luhya Unity drive which he looped in most of the province leaders, including current and past MPs.

In a way, he has overshadowed the prominent politicians in the province including Musikari Kombo and Musalia Mudavadi. Even before he founded the unity drive, he had several MPs under his spell. In fact, it is said that most of the rebel MPs in Ford Kenya are in his camp and that they are doing his bidding. True to his abrasive character, Jirongo has several times dismissed the ODM-K, accusing Raila of attempts to impose leaders on the Western Province.

His fortunes will depend on ability the Luhya Unity drive to ward off the speed of the ODM-K wave in the province. In the race for the seat, Jirongo will be standing up to Dr Enock Kibuguchy, the incumbent who is among the Ford Kenya renegades. Kibuchy has made it clear that he will support Musalia Mudavadi if he is nominated the ODM-K flag bearer. Enock has since joined Narc-Kenya.

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