Calls for Luhya unity have created political tension in the Western region ahead of the much anticipated 2022 General elections with leaders realigning to have a seat at the table.
This has created two factions of leaders with a section pledging their support to Deputy President William Ruto led by Bonny Khalwalwe promising that the region will vote in his (Ruto’s) favour.
On the other hand, others inclined to President Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga have been promising that the region will be united ahead of the 2022 polls, in favour of the candidate that will be endorsed by the two.
Star reports that ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula are expected to meet with opinion leaders at the home of Kimilili MP Chris Wamalwa in a bid to foster the Luhya Unity.
However, another meeting is reportedly planned led by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa with the same agenda thus openly rivalling.
The publication further notes that 15 MPs from the western region are expected to be in attendance of the meeting at Chris Wamalwa’s home.
Last month, a similar meeting was held at COTU boss Francis Atwoli’s home where Luhya leaders convened a meeting and endorsed Oparanya and Eugene Wamalwa as their leaders. Notably, ANC’s Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula were left out.
Following the meeting, a section of those who were termed as rebels were ejected and replaced. For instance, Wetangula was ousted as the Ford K party leader and replaced with Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi.
Reports indicate that the DP targets the Western Region despite it being referred to as ODM’s Raila Odinga’s zone. This was echoed by the frequent meetings he held in the region before Coronavirus pandemic.
On June 12, 2020, Ruto held meetings with leaders from the western Kenya region drawn from both Ford Kenya ANC parties.
Taking to Twitter, Ruto indicated that he had held fruitful discussions aimed to steer the development of the country.
— William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) June 12, 2020
Barely three days ago, the Head of State also met a section of Western Kenya leaders to discuss development projects in the region at Harambee House, Nairobi.
The leaders present in the meeting were Governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia), Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma), Wilbur Ottichilo (Vihiga) and Patrick Khaemba (Trans-Nzoia). Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa and COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli were also present.
In a statement from the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU), it was reported that the President and the leaders discussed the ongoing Government efforts to revive the ailing sugar sector especially Mumias and Nzoia sugar factories.