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Luhya unity talks attract mixed reactions

By - Robert Wanyonyi | October 22nd 2012

By Robert Wanyonyi

Varied reactions have greeted a reported meeting between UDF presidential candidate Musalia Mudavadi, Ford-Kenya party leader Moses Wetang’ula and Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo.

 While majority of the residents in Bungoma County seemed to be in support of such an initiative, political leaders continued reading from different scripts.

 But one thing was clear though: That Mudavadi has moved to stamp his authority and get the elusive Luhya community vote in one basket; albeit with the support of none other than Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli.

 This is an achievement made only by former Vice-President the late Michael Kijana Wamalwa.

 Though Mr Wetang’ula and Mr Jirongo remained guarded as to the real motive of their meeting, Ford-Kenya Secretary-General, Kimilili MP Dr Eseli Simiyu told The County Weekly that come what may, the party will present a presidential candidate in the next General Election.

 “Our party position has not changed regarding our resolve to have our own candidate on the presidential ballot in the next General Election. Those rushing to report that our party leader may have resolved to support another presidential candidate are totally mistaken,” he said.

 The MP who is Mr Wetang’ula’s most trusted ally added that they are in the process of popularising their party ahead of the elections and they cannot deviate from this cause to support Mr Mudavadi as was widely rumored.

Dr Eseli however supported more talks to ensure that the Luhya community remained united.

New Ford People presidential aspirant Eugene Wamalwa on his part dismissed a feeling among many that he might have been sidelined from the meeting because of his determined ambition to spur with Mr Mudavadi at any available forum within the region.

 “What I want my supporters to know is that my presidential ambition is very much alive and on course and I am not aware of any talks aimed at having other candidates to forego their bids in favor of one. According to me, such a move, though noble may have come too late in the day,” said the Saboti MP.

 Mr Wamalwa said that two years back, he initiated talks to have other leaders, including himself to abandon their bids and support Mr Mudavadi for the presidency but the latter flatly turned down the offer saying that he was happy in ODM where he was deputising Prime-Minister Raila Odinga.

 “We have turned the final corner and we can’t look behind when the ultimate prize is just being spotted now. We are on the final stretch and it’s everyone for himself now!” stressed Mr Wamalwa.

 But like Dr Eseli, Mr Wamalwa also said that he supports talks aimed at bringing community leaders together.


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