Elections 2017

Khalwale on his own as Mudavadi, Wetang'ula to attend BBI forum

Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale and former Sports CS Rashid Achesa inspecting Nabongo grounds ahead of the planned today rally at the venue. [File, Standard]

Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale could be humiliatingly on his own after leaders at Bukhungu Stadium confirmed that seats had been reserved for ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula and the two are to attend the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) meeting at Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega.

Speaking to KTN at Bukhungu Stadium, a Ford Kenya party official confirmed that his party boss was on his way to the venue and that a seat had been reserved for him.

“I can confirm the two leaders will be here, as you can see there are seats reserved for both Wetang'ula and Mudavadi,” he said.

If the two attend, it would confirm Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli assertion that no leader in western has the muscle to take him head on.

The two had said they were not consulted and that they would skip the meeting that was to be attended by ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Khalwale who visited the Nabongo Grounds in Mumias town had affirmed the meeting dubbed Wstern Economic Forum, would go on unopposed, stating that he had mobilised local leaders from Trans Nzoia, Bungoma and Kakamega Counties and Vihiga Counties.

ALSO READ: Why Mudavadi and Wetang’ula oppose BBI drive

He said Mudavadi and Wetang'ula would attend the Mumias meeting.

Western leaders have differed over the today’s BBI meeting with those allied to Deputy President William Ruto, Mudavadi and Wetang'ula terming it political.

Some claimed the meeting was to be used to endorse host Governor Wycliffe Oparanya as the community’s spokesperson.

Those in support of the BBI meeting chaired dismissed the allegations adding that the event was a BBI affair.

 The meeting was mooted at another meeting held at Atwoli’s rural home in Kakamega.

Those opposed to the BBI meeting questioned Atwoli’s mandate to speak for the Western region.

Giving up

ALSO READ: ANC, Ford-Kenya leaders want BBI report review concluded by end of March

By today 11 am, Khalwale and other Tangatanga allied politicians were nowhere to be seen at the Nabango Grounds as police sealed off the venue.

Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen has condemned the heavy police deployment, saying it shows clearly that BBI is not about uniting the country as claimed.

"Fellow Kenyans, BBI is the only way to end violence and politics of exclusion. We must create a nation of only one democratic idea. We’re uniting this country by force. We’ve deployed our officers to ensure that no other idea thrives, only BBI. Anyone defying will be dealt with ruthlessly,” he posted on his Twitter handle on Saturday.

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