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Forget Western votes in 2017 elections, Oparanya tells Jubilee

By John Oywa | Published Mon, December 5th 2016 at 07:52, Updated December 5th 2016 at 11:55 GMT +3
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has told Jubilee to stop campaigning in Western region terming it a CORD zone.

He said the Luhya community had resolved to vote for Opposition chief Raila Odinga because Jubilee has not fulfilled its pledges to them.

"We are already preparing for a Raila Odinga presidency next year. Raila must win this time round. Our people are not supporting Uhuru Kenyatta also because of rampant corruption in the Jubilee administration," said Oparanya, who also serves as one of ODM's deputy party leaders. The other one is his Mombasa counterpart Ali Hassan Joho.

Oparanya's pronouncement is likely to ruffle feathers in Musalia Mudavadi's Amani National Congress (ANC) camp.

Mudavadi, who is also eyeing the presidency, is aggressively pushing for the formation of National Super Alliance (Nasa), which is expected to bring together several Opposition parties ahead of the August 2017 General Election.

Oparanya accused Mudavadi of spoiling Raila's Luhya vote in the 2013 elections after he agreed to join the UhuRuto team.

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"Mudavadi took over 100,000 votes that could have gone to Raila's basket only for him to be shortchanged," said Oparanya who spoke at Sabembe village near Kisumu Town during the burial of county Director of Environment Ouru Sweta, on Saturday.

He added: "Luhyas are angry with President Kenyatta and his deputy for paying them lip service as well as holding harambees which have little impact on people's lives."

"When Uhuru comes to Western, he only gives promises. William Ruto is always visiting Western armed with sacks of money. He has been giving a minimum of Sh2 million per harambee yet his salary is only Sh1.5 million. Where does he get all the money he dishes out?" he said.

The governor said Raila has the best chance ever to win the presidency and told Opposition supporters, especially in Nyanza, to avoid infighting that may lead to voter apathy.

"To help Raila win the next elections, we must stop this shameful chaos and destruction of ballot boxes we often witness during party primaries," said Oparanya who was flanked by his host Governor Jack Ranguma.

He said aspirants for various political seats must be ready to concede defeat if they lose, for Raila's sake. "ODM has in the past lost good politicians who defect to other parties after losing in the nominations. But this time round, those who lose in the primaries must not worry because as ODM governors, we will give them jobs in the counties," said Oparanya.

Meanwhile, Oparanya challenged ODM leaders in Nyanza and Western to ensure all eligible voters are registered ahead of the elections.

"Our people must not only register to the last eligible voter but must also ensure they turn out to vote for Raila when that time comes," said the governor.

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