Ford Kenya wrangles deepen, major setback to Luhya Unity
By Emmanuel Too
| June 5th 2020
“Ford Kenya! Simba, Ford Kenya, Usawa Haki na Ukweli (Equality Justice and Truth)”
So they struggled to sing, with voices forcibly high but evidently laced with indefinite uncertainty. The heavy blows in the Party had threatened to squeeze life out of the lion party.
The party coup has thrown their mantra in disarray. Both sides crying foul over inequality, injustices, and mischief.
Political struggles between the Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati and his Senator Moses Wetangu’la seem to sink the boat, threatening to end the party in Ford Kenya.
This situation now becoming just one of the countless futile efforts by the Mulembe nation to ‘unite’, a situation that has become an elephant in the Luhya room.
Every time the Luhya community leaders have come to push for the unity of the region, members always ended up pulling towards the opposite directions.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the tribe is the second most populous, just some steps behind the Kikuyu community.
However, notwithstanding this fact, when it comes to voting, their seven million population, never seem to add up in the political matrix.
For more than four General Elections in the country, the Luhya community has been a house with different fathers. This being witnessed in the recent turn of events.
The wrangles at the Ford Kenya’s headquarters is among a myriad of unending divisions in the Luhya house, which has made them a laughing stock.
Recently, a faction in the Party led by Secretary General Dr. Eseli Simiyu launched a coup that ended at the Registrar of Parties’ office. This is after all sides claimed control of the Party.
These efforts, according to political pundits, will surely throw the region’s ambitions off the hook two years to the 2022 General polls.
The latest circus has forced the lion party to be run from two centers. One at the Party’s official residence at Ole Dume road and the other at Radisson Blue hotel.
In a recent rejoinder, the Moses Wetang’ula led camp belaboured on the reasons why they are the legitimate owners of the Party.
“Ford Kenya is still alive and is being run at its headquarters, “cried Chris Wamalwa, who later proclaimed himself the interim Party Secretary.
This, contradicting his previous statement that the status quo remains in the party as directed by the Registrar of Parties, meaning Dr. Eseli Simiyu is the substantive Secretary.
“He is a rebel! We cannot have a power vacuum. That is why I now come in, “added Wamalwa.
The sharp voiced Kiminini legislator, who was lately ousted as Minority whip in the National Assembly had earlier mentioned that a communique from Anne Nderitu who is the Registrar of Parties had directed the stay of the status quo.
“The leadership of the Party remains as it is until the Registry makes a substantive decision on the Party wrangles, “said Wamalwa.
It first started after a group led by Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati and the Party's Secretary General Dr. Eseli Simiyu, decided to change the Party Leadership.
The camp accused Senator Wetangula of gross misconduct and failing to champion unity in the party.
"Party members have lost trust in the party leader hence the need to replace him to develop the party," said Dr. Eseli during a press conference.
The former Minority Leader in the Senate was also accused of failing to provide inspiring leadership to the party contrary to Clause 49 of the party’s constitution.
Also thrown out during the changes is party Organizing Secretary Chris Mandu in a meeting which Wetangula allies stormed out of the venue.
In place, Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi was enthroned as the Party Leader, in an alleged special National Executive Council sitting.
Recently, the Wamunyinyi side said they had submitted a duly signed document to the Registrar of Parties of those members who approved Wetang’ula’s ouster.
The team, however, blamed their counterparts of issuing threats on the legislators allied to the Wangamati side saying they would lodge a complaint to that effect.
“We are going to the Police immediately to launch a complaint about threats meted on our members. Some have even been subjected to physical assault,” lamented Dr. Eseli.
This comes as a meeting was also held in Kitale that declared Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa as the community spokesmen.
The blessings of Luhya elders have essentially been touted to give an exit notice to the current regional kingpins.
Former Cabinet Ministers Muskari Kombo, Noah Wekesa, and Fred Gumo as well as Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong and Trans Nzoia Senator Michael Mbito also accompanied the duo on the tour.
“We want Oparanya and Wamalwa to be at the negotiating table and work with President Uhuru Kenyatta. However, we respect other leaders but if they digress, we shall just replace them like we have done and continued with our journey,” said Gumo.
Wamalwa and Oparanya said they would be meeting elders from all communities in the region to seek their blessings.
“We have a mission to put together the people of western, and our mission is to ask our people to support the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), President Uhuru Kenyatta, and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in their efforts to unite the country,” Oparanya said.
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