Elders from the Western Region have declared their support for the Azimio la Umoja Movement as 2022 politics hots up.
Speaking at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega County on Friday, the elders pledged to mobilize the Luhya community popularly known as the “Mulembe House” to vote for ODM leader Raila Odinga for the presidency.
The Bukhungu II meeting brought together leaders supporting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s handshake with Odinga.
Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju and Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa were among top government officials who graced the event.
Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi, who is one of the principals in the One Kenya Alliance (OKA), was dealt a blow after several members of his party defected to ODM.
The defectors were led by former ANC Secretary-General Godfrey Ososti. The nominated MP indicated Mudavadi has no chance of succeeding President Kenyatta.
ANC deputy party leader Ayub Savula also declared support for Odinga’s Azimio La Umoja.
Savula said he has ditched OKA which is touted as the third in the 2022 succession politics.
Mudavadi and OKA co-principals — Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya), Gideon Moi (KANU) — gave the event a wide birth. The four are all eyeing the presidency despite claims that they are under pressure from President Kenyatta to support Odinga’s bid.
A Ford Kenya splinter group led by Kanduyi lawmaker Wafula Wamunyinyi and his Tongaren counterpart Eseli Simiyu was also present. The duo leads the newly formed Democratic Action Party – Kenya.
During the Friday event, Odinga promised to ensure that the Mumias Sugar factory is revived to benefit locals. He vowed to ensure Sarrai Group which recently took over the company delivers within the next six months. Some of the top officials of the Ugandan firm were present at Bukhungu Stadium.
Other notable leaders who attended the event include governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), James Ongwae (Kisii), Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet), trade unionist Francis Atwoli, Senators James Orengo (Siaya), Maina Kamanda (nominated), former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth and Royal Media Services Chairman S. K. Macharia.