ELUSIVE UNITY?

Mudavadi under fire over Luhya MPs meeting

Lawmakers say they need no permission from ANC leader to meet.

In Summary
  • The Mudavadi camp dismissed the decision that gave Oparanya and Eugene the green light to lead the Mulembe Nation.
  • It said the meeting was meant to scuttle Mudavadi's chances of clinching the presidency in 2022.
ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi
ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi
Image: JACK OWUOR

The wrangles over the future of the Luhya community took a new twist on Thursday after a number of MPs took a swipe at ANC boss Musalia Mudavadi for opposing a meeting held on Monday.

Some MPs from Western met and gave Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Devolution CS Eugine Wamalwa the green light to lead the Mulembe Nation.

However, the Mudavadi camp dismissed the decision, saying it was meant to scuttle his chances of clinching the presidency in 2022. They claimed outsiders were using their colleagues to divide the community.

 
 

The lawmakers were Beatrice Adagala (Vihiga county), Christopher Aseka (Khwisero), Alfred Agoi (Sabatia), John Bunyasi (Nambale), Omboko Milemba (Emuhaya), Titus Khamala (Lurambi) and Kivai Kagesi (Vihiga).

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

“We, and on behalf of many other colleagues, would like to disassociate ourselves from that purported night meeting on Monday at an undisclosed location during which a treacherous agenda to betray the hopes of a united-for-purpose Luhya nation was on the table."

For their part, however, those who attended the meeting, including ANC lawmakers, defended their deliberations. On Thursday, two ANC lawmakers castigated their party leader, telling him to stop being a stumbling block to the community’s progress.

Nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi said Western MPs do not need permission from Mudavadi to hold a meeting, adding that the former deputy prime minister is being misled.

“Those MPs purporting to introduce cheap and unfounded politics following a meeting of Luhya MPs attended by 27 of us are grossly misleading Mudavadi and creating an unnecessary rift between Mudavadi and a majority MPs and key leaders in the region,” Osotsi said.

“They are in fact isolating Mudavadi from many elected leaders in the region. There is nothing wrong with MPs meeting CS Eugene Wamalwa and CoG chairman Wycliffe Oparanya to discuss development issues affecting the region.”

 
 

The lawmaker said all that was on the table had nothing to do with Mudavadi but everything to do with improving the economy of the region.

ANC deputy Party leader Ayub Savula, who also attended the meeting, said anyone linking the Monday meeting to regional politics was misled as they only deliberated on development issues affecting the people of Western.

“Eugine is doing his work as a minister and we gave him projects to follow up, Oparanya being the CoG chairman to push projects, that is what we agreed on. Musalia remains the leader of the opposition,” Savula said on the phone.

“The meeting was not political. I attended the meeting. How do you put MPs from ODM, ANC and Ford Kenya and start talking politics? Such a meeting will end in a minute. We follow issues, we don’t follow rumours.”

Weighing in on the issue, Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa (Jubilee) said anybody engaging in drumming up support for Luhya unity is living in denial.

“Luhya communities are united. It's their leaders who are divided along party lines. In any case, three people cannot do meetings to nominate who to lead Luhyas. Oparanya should first quit ODM and either join Musalia or Wetang'ula,” he said.