ELUSIVE UNITY

Luhya leaders in all-out war over community's future

Seven lawmakers disowned the night meeting as a scheme to divide the Luhya community

In Summary
  • It is an all-out war among Luhya political leaders over who has the blessings to champion the community’s interest ahead of 2022 General Election.
  • On Wednesday, a section of MPs denounced a meeting convened by their colleagues to bring the community together, calling it a treacherous scheme.
Some Luhya leaders at a function in Kakamega on December 31, 2019, led by Francis Atwoli, Musalia Mudavadi and Wycliffe Oparanya.
UNITED WE STAND: Some Luhya leaders at a function in Kakamega on December 31, 2019, led by Francis Atwoli, Musalia Mudavadi and Wycliffe Oparanya.
Image: FILE

It is an all-out war among Luhya leaders over who has the blessings to champion the community’s interests ahead of the 2022 General Election.

On Wednesday, seven MPs denounced a meeting on Monday said to have been convened by their colleagues to bring the community together.

At the centre of the battle is a report of ongoing meetings to chart the community’s political future - in which some of the leaders said they were not involved.

The seven lawmakers denounced the meeting as a scheme to divide the Luhya community.

The power struggle pits Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Devolution CS Eugine Wamalwa on one side against ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula on the other.

The seven critics are MPs Beatrice Adagala (Vihiga county), Christopher Aseka (Khwisero), Alfred Agoi (Sabatia), John Bunyasi (Nambale), Omboko Milemba (Emuhaya), Titus Khamala (Lurambi) and Kivai Kage.

They said some leaders were intentionally excluded and thus the gathering cannot purport to champion the unity of the community.

They also claimed the meeting had the blessings of both President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga. They called it a plot to scuttle Mudavadi’s 2022 presidential ambitions.

We disassociate ourselves from that purported night meeting where a treacherous agenda to betray a united Luhua Nation was on the table.
Seven critical lawmakers

“We beseech our two brothers not to allow themselves to be used as destructive proxies to divide the Luhya vote and betray their brother, denying him an opportunity to lead this country,” they said in a joint statement.

“Our people’s singular unity of purpose remains producing a President of the Republic of Kenya.”

 

They appealed to backers of the meetings to avoid being used by outsiders to divide the community ahead of the 2022 General Election.

“On behalf of many other colleagues, we would like to disassociate ourselves from that purported night meeting on Monday at an undisclosed location, at which a treacherous agenda to betray the hopes of a united Luhya Nation was on the table,” the MPs said.

The pro-Mudavadi lawmakers were responding to reports of a meeting bringing together 27 leaders from the region.

The meeting reportedly endorsed Oparanya and CS Eugene Wamalwa to lead the community in a political process that would see it play a significant role in leading Kenya.

“There is no possibility of gathering 27 legislators in this time of the coronavirus and if it were to happen, then such a meeting would have contravened all safety protocols by government officials," the opponents said.

The seven angry MPs called the reported strategy meeting a "drinking binge" that could not even raise a quorum.

“We understand the illegal Monday party didn’t have a quorum and another was slated for Wednesday in the Westlands suburbs,” they said

“The plot for the governor to checkmate Musalia Mudavadi in Kakamega, Busia and Vihiga counties while the CS does the same with Moses Wetang'ula in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia is an open secret.”

 

(Edited by V. Graham)