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Western leaders issue demands, want Oparanya to deputise Raila

By Benard Lusigi | October 23rd 2021

 Governor Wycliffe Oparanya addresses boda boda riders at a stop along Lukume-Kambi ya Mwanza Road, Kakamega. [Jackline Inyanji, Standard]

Western Kenya politicians allied to ODM leader Raila Odinga have outlined their conditions for supporting his presidential quest.

Top on the list is a recommendation that Raila picks Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya as his running mate.

The leaders also want key slots in the government to be reserved for the region, including five Cabinet dockets namely; Finance, Interior, Infrastructure, Health and Agriculture.

The resolutions arose out of a meeting of ODM delegates from five counties held in Kakamega on Friday.

The grassroots leaders comprising members of coordinating committees, ward representatives and lawmakers from Kakamega, Trans Nzoia, Vihiga, Busia and Bungoma counties had met to lay strategies ahead of next year’s elections.

Resolutions of the well attended 10-hour meeting held at a hotel in Kakamega town were read out by Luanda MP Chris Omulele.  

They argued that Oparanya fits the bill given the fact he is the senior-most member of the Orange party and had sacrificed his ambitions to run for the presidency in support of Raila.

“He has contributed to unifying the region and has an impressive performance track record,” said the leaders.

In attendance were ODM branch chairmen from the five counties including host Justus Kizito and several MCAs and a host of aspirants seeking various elective seats on the Orange party ticket next year.

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya (left) and ODM leader Raila Odinga. [Duncan Ocholla, Standard]

They indicated that the people of Western appreciate the vote-rich region’s numerical strength.

During the meeting, the leaders affirmed their loyalty to Raila and vowed to back his fifth stab at the top seat.

“We have worked out a strategic plan to ensure that he wins majority votes in the region and a lion’s share of all elective seats,” read part of the resolutions.

The leaders said they were prepared to receive and campaign for Raila who is expected to visit the region for the fifth time in less than one month.

They also petitioned President Uhuru Kenyatta to reconstitute boards of directors of government-owned sugar mills before the disbursement of Sh1.5 billion bailout cash.

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