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Raila, Mudavadi renew rivalry in Bungoma mini poll

POLITICS
By By BRYAN TUMWA | November 28th 2013

By BRYAN TUMWA

CORD and Amani coalitions have drawn battlelines ahead of the Bungoma senatorial by-election.

The respective coalition leaders Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi are going at each other in a fight for supremacy in the region.

The by-election has morphed into a contest between Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula (CORD) and New Ford Kenya’s Musikari Kombo (Amani).

CORD has branded Kombo a “Jubilee government project” while the Amani Coalition has embarked on painting Wetang’ula as Raila’s political scion in his grand scheme to control the Luhya political bloc.

In a terse statement sent to newsrooms, Bungoma County Ford Kenya Chairman Wafula Wamunyinyi hit out at the Amani leader, dismissing him as a leader who would never wield any real political influence in his own backyard, Bungoma and the larger Western Province.

“Mudavadi must explain to the Luhya nation how he lost control of Vihiga County, his birthplace, to Moses Akaranga who ran on a little known party called PPK. He must explain why he lost his parliamentary seat in 2002 to the same Mr Akaranga while serving as the Vice President of the Republic of Kenya. The man is a relic of political history and unworthy of the engagement of CORD Principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Wetang’ula,” read the statement in part.

In response to this, Kombo’s supporters pointed out that Raila as an opposition leader has kept unusually silent over the problems bedeviling the sugar industry in Western.

According to John Chikati, UDF chairman in Bungoma County, Raila has snubbed the Luhya community twice in the past. He said in 1996, Raila thwarted Kijana Wamalwa’s political ambitions and in 2013, he “chased” Mudavadi from ODM.

“He is doing it a third time with project Wetang’ula. This manipulation of our leaders as projects is what we are against. You cannot aspire to be a community leader through sponsorship by external forces,” he said.

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