Luhya leaders have been asked to wind up their political parties and form one outfit to bring on board all the region’s political players.
Speaking to The Standard yesterday in Nairobi, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said Luhyas would not benefit until all the parties in the region united to advance a common cause for the people.
The governor, who is also the deputy party leader of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), said he was willing to quit the party and join other Luhya leaders to form one political entity.
Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya), Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa (Jubilee) and Ben Washiali (National Assembly Chief Whip) are among the top political figures from the western region.
Mr Mudavadi,Mr Wetang’ula, Mr Wamalwa and Mr Oparanya have all declared that they would vie for the presidency in 2022.
Mr Oparanya said this would remain a pipe dream if all leaders from the region do not put aside their personal differences and form one formidable political vehicle.
“I am willing to leave ODM even today and join my brothers in one party so that we can have a strong vehicle to negotiate effectively for this country’s leadership. We cannot achieve this when each of us has a small party that he uses for selfish gains,” Oparanya said.
He asked Mudavadi and Wetang’ula to fast-track the merging of ANC and Ford-K.
“We are tired of using our people for personal political capital. A brother does not need months to consult to enter into another’s home,” he said.
He said Mudavadi and Wetang’ula had been talking about the merger for six months now, yet they had yet to disband their parties.
Mudavadi and Wetang’ula have called for more time, saying they are confident that the merger will take place soon, adding that they are happy with the progress made so far.
“Our party organs are consulting about the merger. A team is on the ground, moving to all regions sensitising people on the matter. We are very happy with the progress. Soon Ford Kenya and ANC will merge,” Wetang’ula said when the two met Wamalwa last week in Nairobi.
Wamalwa hailed the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila, saying Cabinet secretaries could now freely mingle with the Opposition without raising eyebrows.
“I am happy I have met with my two brothers. They have raised pertinent issues about sugarcane farming that cannot be swept under the carpet since this is the lifeline of western Kenya. I will convey this to the President,” said Wamalwa.