Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi and Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli have ended their differences and vowed to work together for Luhya unity.
This comes barely three months after Atwoli hosted some leaders from the region at his Kajiado home led by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, who he installed as the region’s spokespersons.
But in their first public meeting at Kima in Vihiga County, Atwoli, perhaps fearing backlash from Musalia’s loyalists, downplayed the Kajiado declaration.
He said since installing Mudavadi as the region’s spokesman in December 2016 during the Bukhungu Declaration, no one else has been given the mantle as the spokesperson.
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He said the faction that met at his Kajiado home was only tasked with reviving the economy of the region, and it should not be confused with the role given to Mudavadi earlier on.
“We gave Mudavadi the mantle to lead the Luhya nation in 2016, and up to now, we have not selected anyone else. At my home in Kajiado, we had a strategy meeting. What we need to do for him is panel-beating so he can take over the role effectively,” Atwoli said.
Atwoli spoke during the requiem mass for pioneer Church of God bishop Byrum Makhokha, who died last month, at the church’s headquarters at Kima in Vihiga County.
Mudavadi accepted the mandate bestowed upon him by Atwoli and urged the locals not to allow him to walk alone as he seeks a second attempt at the presidency in 2022, after his failed bid in 2013.
After the meeting at Atwoli’s home on May 29, the faction led by Oparanya and Wamalwa held a series of meetings in the region, urging locals to support them as they vowed to support the government and its development agenda.
There were also internal party wrangles in Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya where he was ousted as party leader, but reinstated later on, and in Mudavadi’s ANC. The party wars were blamed on Atwoli.
Mudavadi also joined the bandwagon with his team and started holding a series of parallel meetings in the region to popularise his party and candidature for the presidency.
But most of his meetings were disrupted by police lobbing tear-gas at them and accusing them of contravening Covid-19 laws.
“I have no problem with Atwoli. Let us not walk alone. Do not also allow me to walk alone in this journey that I am undertaking,” Mudavadi said.
He presented himself as a safe pair of hands which will salvage the crumbling economy, noting that many Kenyans were suffering and the debts the country had accrued were not doing any better.
“The president should arrest these people engaged in corruption, especially those who have looted Covid-19 funds,” Mudavadi said.
Atwoli challenged Mudavadi to be welcoming and start by inviting him to his home for a cup of tea and thanking him for the role he played in ensuring he got the role.
Other local leaders said it was a good gesture for the two accepting to walk together and help shape the destiny of the populous region.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga eulogised the late man of God in messages delivered through Oparanya.
“With the passing on of the bishop, we will always cherish his many accomplishments in church and community development. He was a true man of God who dedicated his life to serving mankind and God,” read the President’s eulogy in part.
Oparanya said he was saddened by the bishop's death, especially after having visited him in July and talked about many issues that surrounded the country.
“I have visited him five times since being hospitalised, and at some occasion, he seemed to have healed. I saw him a day to his death,” said Oparanya.
Atwoli, who also delivered condolences from Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, said everyone should learn from Makokha’s humility.
Grace Hoka, the widow, remembered with nostalgia, how the bishop married her and how they have lived together peacefully while leading the church.
Roseline Kagonya, his daughter, noted her father taught them by example on how to be Christians through his kindness, wisdom and compassion.
“I am so glad he taught us first to love God, family and friends. Papa be rest assured that what you imparted in me will never be forgotten and was never be in vain,” Kagonya said.
Locals outwitted police and Covid-19 regulations to flock the funeral in their hundreds to bid farewell to a man who has led the church for about 53 years.
The late church head was a career teacher before he went to train in theology in the USA and committed himself to church.