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Running for presidency to force a run-off is selfish, Oparanya tells OKA leaders

By Mireri Junior | November 14th 2021

One Kenya Alliance (OKA) principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Gideon Moi and Musalia Mudavadi during their recent campaign in the Mount Kenya region. [Courtesy]

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has warned ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi and other One Kenya Alliance (OKA) principals against running for the presidency to force a run-off, saying it is selfish.

Speaking during a function in Western over the weekend, Oparanya tore into the OKA principals’ plot, saying it was counterproductive and only meant to enrich themselves. 

“They are going nowhere, but you hear them talk about forcing a run-off, how will that help? It is either you form the government or you are in the opposition.”

He said in the event of a run-off, the two top candidates will have to talk to other candidates to back them in exchange for cash, but not positions in government.

“If you force a run-off, you will open yourself to be bought by either of the top two candidates and that will not help your supporters or community,” he said.

Oparanya reminded the OKA principals that in case they force a run-off, none of the two top candidates will change his or her running mate.

“If you are bought to support one of the top candidates, will you give that money to our community? It is a selfish move,” he stated.

The ODM deputy party leader told the Luhya community not to gamble with their votes, saying the community must be part of the government in 2022.

Despite efforts by President Uhuru Kenyatta to re-unite the OKA principals with ODM leader Raila Odinga, both Mudavadi and Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka have maintained that they will not back anyone and instead will be on the ballot in the 2022 presidential race.

Oparanya also challenged Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula to merge their parties into one formidable outfit if they wanted to boost their chances in the State House race.

He said if Luhya political leaders agree to form one party, then he is ready to ditch ODM and join them to sell the new outfit across the country.

“I told them to merge these small parties, we come up with a big party so that we move forward, they refused so let me remain in ODM,” he said.

Never been approached

Responding to calls from Senator Cleophas Malala to back Mudavadi for the 2022 State House bid, Oparanya said he had never been approached by the ANC leader for support and will not support him by force.

“He [Mudavadi] has never approached me that he wants my support so that we can discuss, so do you expect me to follow him?” he posed.

Malala said the ANC leader will be on the ballot in the 2022 presidential race even if he will not win.

Malala had urged the Luhya community to back one of their own, saying it is through that other communities will respect them.

“Let nobody scare our people that if Mudavadi loses the race, we are doomed as a people, even if he does not win, we will have bargaining power."

Malala cited Raila whom he said has never won any presidential election since 1997 but has been part of all the governments since then.

“Even Raila himself has never won the presidency, but has been part of the government since 1997 when he first contested,” Malala said.

Speaking on Saturday during a public rally in Matunda, Kakamega county, Malala and other ANC leaders gave OKA a December 25 deadline to name a flag bearer or seek alternative political alliances.

“We have told our OKA counterparts that we want to know our presidential candidate by December 25. If we will not have been told the candidate, we will engage other people,” said Butere MP Tindi Mwale.

Kalonzo, Wetang’ula and Gideon Moi (Kanu) have today campaigned together in Kitengela.

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