Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has taken the driver's seat of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition campaigns in Kakamega.

Oparanya who leads the Azimio campaigns in Western has taken over campaign roles and is heavily campaigning for Kakamega Azimio gubernatorial candidate Fernandes Barasa.

Oparanya has been having the back seat in the Kakamega campaigns but sources intimate after his confidants identified shortcomings in the team campaigning in the region, they prevailed upon him to join in the campaigns and give the team a boost.

“The governor was reluctant but things appeared to be getting out of hand, forcing him to come on board. It is true that the governor has taken over the campaigns. Kakamega is a seat Azimio does not want to lose,” the sources said.

However, Kakamega ODM coordinating committee chairperson Mophat Mandela downplayed the claims saying Oparanya’s involvement in Barasa’s campaigns is part of his assignment to secure Western votes into the Azimio basket.

“Right now Oparanya has been in Busia for three days looking for votes for Raila, does it mean that Busia Azimio governor candidate Dr Paul Otuoma is also weak?” Mandela said.

The Kakamega governor’s seat is a hotly contested seat that has attracted many formidable forces including ANC's Cleophas Malala, KANU’s Suleiman Sumba, UDP’s Cyrus Jirongo, MDP’s Samuel Omukoko and Optiso Austine who is vying on an independent ticket.

Both Azimio la Umoja coalition and their Kenya Kwanza Alliance opponents are focused on bagging the vote-rich Kakamega County ahead of the August general election.