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September 20, 2018

Oparanya ready to ditch ODM for Luhya unity

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya when he appeared before the Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee on the audit queries raised by the auditor general for the financial year 2014/15. July 2018. Photo/Jack Owuor
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya when he appeared before the Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee on the audit queries raised by the auditor general for the financial year 2014/15. July 2018. Photo/Jack Owuor

Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya has repeated that he is willing to quit ODM if that will promote Luhya unity.

However, he cautioned leaders against using the unity drive for political expediency.

Oparanya said Luhyas are united since the community always votes in a specific direction.

He said it is politicians who pull in different directions for their self interest.

“Luhyas must organise themselves to ensure the community is in government. I am ready to present a single candidate in the next polls,” he said.

The governor said other regions have shunned the community in drafting political deals because its leaders have been divided.

He made the remarks at Givoji Primary School, Hamisi subcounty, on Friday during a fundraising.

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa led 20 MPs and two governors from Western in signing a declaration, binding Luhya leaders to work together ahead of 2022.

The declaration was signed during the 15th memorial service for former Vice President Kijana Wamalwa in Kitale on Thursday. Oparanya skipped the event.

The community split its vote in 2013 between Raila and Musalia Mudavadi, who ran on a UDF ticket. Luhyas gave 96 per cent of their vote to Nasa in 2017.

The memorial was attended by Kakamega senator Cleophas Malala, Woman Representative Elsie Muhanda and MPs Godfrey Osotsi (nominated), Charles Gimose (Hamisi), Caleb Hamisi (Saboti) and Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani).

Malala opposed to the Luhya unity drive, saying the narrative that the community is divided is misleading.

Political commentator Isaac Wanjekeche yesterday said Luhya leaders opposed to the unity campaign are standing on quicksand.

Political analyst Martin Oloo said those opposed to the unity drive are ODM remnants in Western who know a Luhya bloc is against Raila’s interests.

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