KAKAMEGA: Governor Wycliffe Oparanya had a rough time addressing mourners who heckled and accused him of neglecting the youth in Matungu constituency.
There was a slight scuffle that delayed the programme when supporters of ODM National Youth Leader Rashid Muhammed, who is critical of Oparanya’s regime, clashed with those of Cleophas Shimanyula, a Kakamega businessman believed to be Oparanya’s close ally.
As soon as the governor rose to address mourners during the burial of former Teremi High School Principal Japheth Mangeni, a section of the crowd attempted to interrupt him, prompting the police and his supporters to intervene.
The hecklers demanded to know why he had neglected Matungu youth in allocation of county casual jobs but the governor faulted the culture of heckling leaders and offered that the only way to show discontent was through the ballot.
The governor asked them to desist from disrespecting their elected representatives, saying they are not leaders by default and asking them to respect leaders “even if you disagree with them”.
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“I am your governor until 2017. If you do not want me, wait until then to elect whomever you want but give me my chance to do my job,” he said.
Administration police officers, who had anticipated the clash and had cordoned the venue, intervened and restored peace.
Mahiakalo Ward Rep Cleophas Malala faulted Oparanya for a poor budget saying it is “oppressive to the poor and decorates the rich”.
The governor was, however, quick to remind him and other ward reps dissatisfied with his governance that: “It is you (MCAs) who pass the budget at the assembly, so do not cheat wananchi.”
Preaching peace, area MP David Were called for cohesion, saying it is the only way to secure development.
“As an MP, my work is cut out for me and the same applies to MCAs, the governor and other leaders.
"Where then do I get time to perform when I am always on the governor’s neck? Let us work together in peace and play politics when 2017 comes,” he said.
Nominated Senator Godliver Omondi and Kabuchai MP James Lusweti, who were also present at the funeral, raised a red flag on issuance of ‘fake’ national identity cards.
Together with the governor, the leaders called for a probe into the matter saying they “read mischief” in the registration process.
“We have realised that our people are being issued with IDs that are missing one numerical digit or with names arranged in a different format from that of their birth certificates.
Someone could use this to deny our people a chance to vote in the 2017 elections,” the senator said, adding that such cases are rampant in Matungu constituency and neighbouring Bungoma County.