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Ex-Teso North MP Odera backs Oparanya unity drive

The bid is, however, attracting opposition from a section of leaders in the region.

In Summary
  • The former MP says Western has a higher chance of benefitting politically and economically.
  • The unity initiative was officially triggered on March 29 when Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli hosted a group of Western leaders at his Kitengela home, Kajiado county.
Former Teso North MP Arthur Odera (R) at Amagoro ACK Church in May 2015.
UNITY BID: Former Teso North MP Arthur Odera (R) at Amagoro ACK Church in May 2015.
Image: EMOJONG OSERE

Former Teso North MP Arthur Odera has supported the initiative that aims at uniting the Western region ahead of the 2022 election.

The former Jubilee lawmaker said the region has a higher chance of benefitting politically and economically if it stays united ahead of the polls.

“I believe that the people of Western will benefit from unity both politically and economically. It will enable the region to negotiate meaningfully for the national cake. I am also conscious that unity efforts will enhance inclusion internally, hence avoiding marginalisation of the minority communities,” Odera told the Star.

 

The initiative to unite the agriculturally endowed region was officially triggered on March 29 after Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli hosted a group of Western leaders, mostly elected, at his Kitengela home, Kajiado county.

During the meeting, Atwoli and Oparanya were tasked to spearhead negotiations for the revival of the former Western province’s economy.

Oparanya, alongside Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa and Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, was also mandated to lead formal negotiations to ensure Luhyas have a say on all fronts.

Oparanya and Eugene have actively been mobilising support for the unity initiative, although their activities are meeting opposition from a section of leaders in the region who interpret it as a ploy by the architects to use it for personal gain.

On June 16, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula criticised Atwoli, saying the unionist was only a failure working to confuse the Luhya community ahead of 2022.

“Atwoli is a failure who has not cushioned Kenyan workers whose salary is deducted to enrich him yet the majority of the workers, especially in flower farms and industries, are suffering. What has he done to help them? Let him stick to his mandate and leave politics to politicians,” Wetang’ula said in an interview at a local radio station said.

He added that Atwoli has no authority to choose any politician as the Mulembe people's spokesperson.

 

“Let him stop chest thumping because nobody appointed him as our patron,” Wetang’ula said.

However, Odera said unity is the best option for Western if it is to benefit from the national cake after the 2022 general election.

“With political power, we will have influence and this will take away the tag of a region that splits in all directions during elections. I support all-inclusive unity efforts,” he said.

Edited by Frank Obonyo