HARD TACKLE

Myth of Luhya unity exposed after top leaders take supremacy battle to Kibra

In Summary

• Political luminaries Musalia, Wetang’ula and Khalwale will be battling for the sizeable Luhya votes in the city constituency.

• It had been assumed that ANC and Ford-K would field a single candidate.

Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula and ANC's Musalia Mudavadi at a past press conference. /COURTESY
DON'T COUNT ON US: Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula and ANC's Musalia Mudavadi at a past press conference. /COURTESY

The fallacy of Luhya unity has been exposed after both the Amani National Congress and Ford Kenya fronted candidates for the November 7 Kibra by-election.

The parties are headed by Luhya political luminaries Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang'ula. 

 
 

Kibra is a test case of the community unity ahead of the 2022 race.

The wishful thinking of the community unity was further exposed after another leading Luhya politician – former Senator Boni Khalwale – was unveiled as the lead campaigner for Jubilee candidate Macdonald Mariga.

Musalia's ANC is fronting Eliud Owalo, a former ODM presidential campaign manager, while Wetang’ula is fronting Hamisi Butichi.

Mudavadi, Wetang’ula and the Jubilee team led by Khalwale will be battling over the sizeable Luhya votes in Kibra.

 

It had been speculated that Mudavadi and Wetang’ula will settle on a comprise candidate after the recent public utterances of their desire to work together in 2022.

Their attempt to merge ANC and Ford-K and galvanise the Luhya voters ahead of 2022 came a cropper a year ago.

The Kibra parliamentary seat fell vacant after the death of MP Ken Okoth last month.

 
 

Opinion is divided on what the Kibra scenario portends for the Luhya unity.

Yesterday, political scientist Robert Watangwa said Musalia and Wetang’ula are confused and might hand Deputy President William Ruto victory in Kibra and make him think that he is in control of Nairobi.

“It was expected that the two, together with Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, will work together to achieve the much-needed unity but Musalia and Wetang’ula have brought in childishness,” Watangwa said.

Former Medical Services minister Amukowa Anangwe, however, says that the two parties and others which will be fielding candidates in the by-election want to shore up their profiles and relevance ahead of 2022.

“There are some serious political considerations than the Luhya agenda in Kibra. People vote largely on personal than ethnic issues. These ethnic businesses are just the figment of imagination by outsiders,” Anangwe said yesterday.

Anangwe believes that Luhya unity is irrelevant in the Kibra case.

"Kibra does not present an opportunity to maximise on Luhya unity,” he added.