Three key Western Kenya leaders will on Wednesday this week hold talks to cement Luhya unity ahead of the 2022 polls. Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula, and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa will converge in Vihiga for the said conversation. They will also attend the annual Maragoli Festival and are expected to share with the attendees the outcome of their deliberations. Eugene and Wetang’ula said on Sunday that they were invited by Mudavadi to chart the way forward on 2022 succession politics and Luhya unity.
The three leaders have both declared their interest to contest the presidency during the next general elections. Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya has also declared that he will be vying for the country’s top job on an ODM ticket. Wetangula and Eugene revealed the plan when they attended a mass service at Christ the King Catholic Church in Bungoma. The two said that they will work together to “save the community from being a laughing stock of other communities, especially during elections”.
Luhya unity has been seen by pundits as the only way the community can ascend to power. Though it has numbers, the community is largely divided on matters political. The unity bid has been facing a myriad of challenges with leaders being blamed for putting selfish ambitions ahead instead of the community’s rights. Wetangula said that Luhyas must form the next government or find like-minded partners to work with. “Eugene, Mudavadi, and I have said that as Mulembe nation, we have been ridiculed enough. We can’t stomach it anymore. Our unity will be key in lifting our community,” he told the congregation.
He castigated MPs from the community saying they only backbite their fellow kinsmen instead of teaming up to discuss and solve issues affecting the Luhya nation. “If you find Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Luo MPs charting their way forward in groups, you won’t miss seeing a Luhya legislator in their midst talking ill about the Luhya community,” Wetang’ula said. He said that the only way out for the community to be respected political is to have them coming together and speaking with one voice. Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi and Bungoma Woman Representative Catherine Wambilianga were also present.
For his part, Wamalwa said: “What God has in store for us as a community will come to pass no matter what others plan against us.” He sent condolences to the families of the victims of the Kaburengu accident that claimed 14 lives on Friday. Ahead of the 2017 elections, the community named Musalia Mudavadi as its spokesman. The activities were spearheaded by Cotu boss Francis Atwoli.
ANC and Ford Kenya merger to form one Luhya political vehicle had been touted as a major step towards uniting the community. But the merger has been hit by challenges after a section of Ford Kenya Party leaders lead by Boni Khalwale openly endorsed Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 bid.