Lawyer Cliff Ombeta has declared interest in the Bonchari Parliamentary seat in the 2022 General Election, barely two months after a hotly contested by-election in the constituency.
Ombeta says he is eyeing the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party ticket, a political outfit associated with Deputy President William Ruto.
In an interview with Nation on Tuesday, the criminal law attorney said he shelved his political ambitions in the May 18 by-election in favour of Teresa Bitutu, widow of late Bonchari MP John Oroo Oyioka.
Bitutu, who vied for the seat on a UDA ticket, lost to ODM candidate Pavel Oimeke.
Following the loss, Ombeta told the publication on Tuesday that “it is now time for people to pursue their own path.”
He revealed that he is currently focused on grassroot mobilisation ahead of the polls.
The Nairobi-based lawyer has already opened a UDA constituency office in Suneka Township as part of efforts to popularise his candidature.
“Bitutu vied on the UDA ticket but did not succeed. The initial plan was to support her and move on, but we did not cross that river. We must chart our own ways forward,” he said.
“I will vie for the Bonchari parliamentary seat in 2022 on an UDA ticket. We are not wasting any time … we have started campaigning.”
Ombeta, will, however, fight for the UDA nomination ticket against Bitutu, who has maintained that she will take another stab at the MP seat in the 2022 polls.
In the May by-election, Bitutu took the third position after garnering 6,964 votes.
Oimeke, a former Energy Petroleum Regulatory Authority Director-General, garnered 8,049 votes to emerge victorious.
Jubilee Party’s Zebedeo Opore got 7,279 votes to take the second position.
“The competition was very tough and the circumstances were very difficult. The heavy presence of police and the involvement of county officials disadvantaged me, denying me victory,” said Bitutu who is actively engaged in selling UDA in Kisii.
Ombeta is among a number of leaders from the Gusii region who have declared their support for DP Ruto’s 2022 presidential ambitions.
Over the past few months, he has been actively engaged in UDA activities both in Nairobi and Kisii.