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Francis Atwoli move to name Luhya spokesperson doomed to fail, leaders insist

By Titus Oteba and Grace Wekesa | Published Wed, December 28th 2016 at 00:00, Updated December 27th 2016 at 21:19 GMT +3
COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli sets a move to name Luhya spokesman.(Photo:Boniface Okendo/Standard)

Atwoli move to name Luhya spokesperson doomed to fail, leaders insist

Some leaders from Western region have trashed the planned unveiling of a Luhya spokesman.

Those opposed to the plan by Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary General Francis Atwoli are Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula, his Kakamega counterpart Boni Khalwale, Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali and former Cabinet minister Musikari Kombo.

Luhya Elders Forum Vice chairman and former minister Burudi Nabwera also faulted the initiative and asked Mr Atwoli to call off the event which is scheduled for Saturday. Mr Nabwera said the initiative will create more division.

"I wonder who gave Atwoli the mandate to appoint the community spokesman and which criteria he used to make the decision. He did not consult leaders in the region. His agenda will not succeed," Wetang'ula said.

Kombo said it is impossible to unite the Luhya nation in just six months, adding that Atwoli's initiative is doomed to fail.

"What Atwoli is doing is something we tried many years ago and we never succeeded. This will leave the region standing on its own and I don't think we can make it as a bloc in 2017. We should look beyond 2017," said the former Webuye lawmaker.

But Atwoli is upbeat that the event will be successful and reiterated that he traversed the entire region and consulted politicians, elders, opinion leaders and locals about his agenda.

"Watch out for the outcome. I am 100 per cent sure we shall succeed. I have traversed the region and consulted widely. I ask Western region to remain united behind one negotiator who will be announced on Saturday," said Atwoli.

He got backing from Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya who urged Western leaders and locals to embrace the initiative.

"As a community, we should embrace what Atwoli is doing. Why can't those opposing wait for the outcome. They are opposing without giving alternatives. If one has an alternative, he should speak out," he said.

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