Youthful parliamentarians and ward reps from Western have launched a lobby dubbed ‘Mulembe Youth Movement’ that is seeking to get control of the region's politics ahead of the 2022 General Election.
The faction is led by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, Godfrey Osotsi (nominated MP), Caleb Amisi (Saboti MP), Edwin Sifuna (ODM Secretary-General), youthful ward reps and youth leaders across the political divide and community-based organisations.
During its launch yesterday in Kakamega Town, the group announced that they will no longer recognise Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula as the regions kingpins.
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The over 500 youthful leaders who attended the launch were drawn from Vihiga, Kakamega, Busia, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma and Nairobi counties.
Wamalwa and Oparanya are pro-government and are championing its Big Four agenda while Mudavadi and Wetang’ula have fixed all their eyes fixed to the 2022 presidential polls.
“That faction led by CS Wamalwa and Governor Oparanya who claims to be pro-government is divisive as well as that led by Mudavadi and Wetang’ula. As youthful leaders we have agreed not to recognise them as they are all selfish,” said Mr Sifuna, who was the chief guest during its launch.
According to Sifuna, the leaders of the two factions have been in government for long but did not help the region get out abject poverty, help the youths from the region secure plum government jobs and initiate development projects, saying any opportunities that were available were given to their cronies.
Mr Sifuna said they will not recognise the seasoned politicians from the region as their leader unless they put the interests of the youths as a first priority.
“Dr Mercy Mwangangi is the Chief Administrative Secretary of Health same to Zack Kinuthia as CAS for Education who are all youths. They are where they are because their leaders lobbied for them but when there were 15 slots of people to be appointed to parastatals, our leaders proposed names of retired politicians over 60 years old,” said Sifuna.
He added: “All negotiations for appointments, financial commitments by the government and any other support intended for Western Region must be for the youth, by the youth and with the Luhya youth at heart,”.
Sifuna said they are fully supporting the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga as well as the Building Bridges Initiative, adding that youths across the country must be involved at every stage of negotiations.
Senator Malala was endorsed to head the Luhya Youth Council that will spearhead the operations of the movement said that they shall start scouting for youths with political ambitions who they will field come 2022, saying they will have candidates in all elective seats.
“We wish to remind our people that the Mulembe Nation is growing fast and steadily. It is our duty to secure a fair share for as many as possible and reject attempts that are informed by greed and selfishness,” said Malala.
He added: “We know our past as Luhyas and this is wisdom we cling on; we recognise our present day opportunities, and this we will use as our weapon to push for change; we are aware of the future and this we commit to it as our purpose moving forward,”.
Mr Osotsi, a nominated MP said that they have been fought to an extent of being expelled by their political parties, saying they will remain steadfast to the clarion call of ensuring the youths also have their say in Mulembe Nation politics.
“In 2022 we want to have all elective seats taken by youths across the Western region as it’s the case in Rift Valley and Central region. We will champion for our rights the same way Kiraitu Murungi, Raila Odinga, Gitobu Imanyara and James Orengo did when youths in championing for multi-party democracy,” said Mr Osotsi.
Nominated Senator Naomi Shiyonga also attended the launch.