Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetang'ula and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka have assured people from various communities living in Bungoma County of their safety and peace ahead of the 2022 General Elections.
Addressing mourners in Musikoma village in the outskirts of Bungoma town on Tuesday during the requiem mass for renowned businessman Allan Waihumbi Njuguna, popularly known as Mwireri, the two leaders said that Bungoma is Cosmopolitan County that is home to people from various communities who live peacefully.
Mr Wetang’ula said that the Constitution gives every Kenyan citizen the right to live and own property anywhere across the country without being interfered with by anyone.
The Bungoma senator said the county has been known to be a peaceful region that even provided a safe haven for many people who were affected by the 2007-2008 post-election violence.
"We had many people from Kitale, Kakamega, Busia and Mumias who came and settled here in Bungoma peaceful during the 2007 post-election violence and have been carrying on with their businesses in a very peaceful way," he said.
Riotous youths warned
Mr Wetang’ula also warned youths against being used by politicians to cause fracas at funerals.
"I want to assure the Kikuyu community who live here that I, being your son-in-law, together with the county's leadership, we shall be your last line of defence in the event of any eventuality and you should live without any fear or worries as you carry on with your businesses," he said.
He said that Bungoma being a frontier county, has often been a basket of peace.
"Let's emulate Mwireri who rose and overcame all odds to be a doyen of entrepreneurship in our region," he said.
The Ford Kenya leader kept off the ongoing party wrangles, despite a section of youths in the crowd shouting “NDC! NDC!” (in reference to a proposed party’s national delegates conference) as he made his speech.
"As we head to the next general polls, we would like to remind our youths that they should not allow themselves to be used in a disrespectful manner and be injured in chaos and fracas," Mr Wetang’ula said.
The lawmaker eulogised the late Njuguna as a hardworking man who rose from a humble beginning in his small business to become a powerful business tycoon in western region.
The senator, who gave his contribution of 100,000 to the bereaved family, also conveyed messages of condolences from President Uhuru Kenyatta and former president Mwai Kibaki, who were close friends of the businessman.
At the same time, Mr Wetang’ula said that the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) is on the right track and will give Kenyans a better leadership that will redeem the country from the myriad of challenges it is going through —from poor economy, joblessness to insecurity.
He said that the country is at a crossroads and urged the Luhya community and western Kenya to wake up and get organised ahead of the 2022 polls lest they remain behind and outside the next government.
He urged residents to turn out in large numbers and register as voters in the ongoing IEBC voter registration.
On his part, Speaker Lusaka said that Bungoma is a cosmopolitan county that has various communities who live together peacefully.
He lauded the Kikuyu community for being good entrepreneurs who have raised the economy of Bungoma and western region and provided employment to many jobless youth in their businesses.
Mr Lusaka has declared his intention to dislodge Mr Wycliffe Wangamati as Bungoma governor in next year's polls.
Speaking at the funeral, Governor Wangamati said that Bungoma County is targeting to register close to 700,000 new voters.
"We are calling upon our youth, women and even the disabled to come out and be registered as voters for us to have a bargaining power in national politics ahead of the 2022 polls," he said.
Mr Wangamati also rubbished presidential hopefuls from western region, saying that the 2022 contest for the country’s top seta is between ODM leader Raila Odinga and UDA leader William Ruto.
At the funeral, two opposing factions of Ford Kenya party engaged in shouting matches which degenerated into a fight that saw a man stabbed several time and had to be taken to Bungoma Referral Hospital for treatment.
Kanduyi Deputy County Commissioner Abdi Shakur said police are pursuing the youths who injured the man and that they will be charged in court once they are arrested.
He warned youths against being used to cause chaos in funerals, saying that those who will be arrested will face the full wrath of the law.