A series of meetings headed by Ford Kenya party boss Moses Wetang’ula, who is also the National Assembly Speaker, have endorsed him and the party as formidable forces with sights set on the 2027 elections.
These developments underscore the Lion Party’s strategic positioning as a favoured entity within the Western region.
With his closeness to the 39 lawmakers from Busia, Vihiga, Bungoma, Kakamega, and TransNzoia under the Western Caucus umbrella, Speaker Wetang’ula more than ever has had more endorsements as the region’s undisputed master than he got while he was Senator.
Last Saturday, Wetang’ula led a host of local leaders from across the political divide during a fundraiser at St Anne’s Musoli Girls where he helped raise Sh10 million for the construction of a dormitory.
Wetang’ula was accompanied by Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa and MPs Nabii Nabwera (Lugari), Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo), John Waluke (Sirisia), Johnson Naica (Mumias West), Beatrice Elachi (Dagoreti), Majimbo Kalasinga (Kabuchai), Geoffrey Mulanya (Nambale), Innocent Mugabe (Likuyani), Oscar Nabulindo (Matungu), Maurice Bisau (Kiminini), Kakamega Woman Rep Elsie Muhanda and host MP Benard Shinali.
On the same day, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi was in Kakamega Town (Lurambi constituency) with area MP Titus Khamala and Vihiga Woman Rep Beatrice Adagala, who accompanied him to another meeting.
Wetang’ula appears closer to the leaders in the caucus (in which he is patron) if his fund drives where they (leaders) attend en masses is anything to go by.
The caucus has since contacted four successful fund drives (Harambees) in Lugari, Malava, Butula, and Ikolomani constituencies respectively where the lawmakers have made sentiments to the effect that he should steer the Mulembe Nation ahead in all matters of politics.
In the recent one in Ikolomani last Saturday, Mr Nabulindo (ODM) stated that the time was ripe for western to recognise Wetangula as the region’s political supremo.
“We want to have him (Wetang’ula) declared our kingpin right away, that is why we are here,” said the Matungu lawmaker.
His sentiments were echoed by Naica (ODM) and Ms Elachi (ODM) who described Wetang’ula as a capable leader.
“Whenever things go wrong, he is the person to correct the situation,” said Elachi.
But when he stood up to speak the Speaker measured his words and didn’t respond to the endorsement calls but maintained that Luhya leaders should walk as a unit towards the 2027 election if they wish to ascend to greater offices of power.
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Martin Andati, a political scientist, interpreted the fund drives “where Wetang’ula’s name reigns more than anything else” could be an elaborate scheme by the Speaker to cut a niche for himself as western kingpin.
“His brother Musalia (Mudavadi) has only met western MPs once or twice but see, Wetang’ula is with them every two or so months and that is endearing him to them. I won’t be surprised when the majority of the MPs and MCAs who now speak so passionately of him vie on a Ford Kenya ticket come 2027,” he said.
Ford-Kenya is also a party close to the hearts of many Luo Nyanza leaders, considering that Jaramogi Oginga Odinga was among it’s founders. Many of them find a home in the party when things get tough.