Elders from the Tachoni community have revived Luhya unity talk, asking newly elected National Assembly Speaker and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula to embark on the task of uniting the community, a mission previously dismissed as futile.
Welcoming his election as Speaker last week, the elders said they expect plenty from Mr Wetang’ula regarding Luhya unity and pledged to help him pursue the agenda.
Among other goals, they want him to reach out to his opponents from the Luhya community in the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition to forge a united development journey for the region.
The targets include Defense Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, former United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) secretary-general Dr Mukhisa Kituyi and former Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
Voice of Luhyas
Led by their chairman Patrick Lichuma Sitati, the elders said Mr Wetang’ula is now the voice of the Luhya and the community’s link to President William Ruto.
“We want to assure our son that he will never walk alone in his new job and we will fully support him as elders from his home turf," said Tachoni Cultural Society (Tacuso) national-secretary-general Newton Werangai.
Speaking to journalists in Webuye, Mr Lichuma said Speaker Wetang’ula is equal to the task and elders are confident he will serve the country diligently.
"We as Tacuso elders want to take this opportunity on behalf of Tachonis living in Bungoma, Kakamega, Busia, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu and other parts of the country to congratulate the National Assembly Speaker, who is the son of our soil for the role he is going to play in ensuring that Parliament comes up with sound laws that will propel the country to greater heights," he said.
State House closer
He said that his elevation to the third in command in Kenya has put the Luhya in a place of respect and brought their quest for the State House closer.
“It is important to note that Luhyas, who are third in the population of Kenya according to the latest census, went to the last General Election divided, with some supporting Azimio candidate Raila Odinga while others supported President Ruto,” he stated.
The elders said Mr Wetang’ula should also consider forgiving coup plotters who tried unsuccessfully to oust him from the Ford Kenya party leadership.
"We would like to see our stalled and ailing factories like the Nzoia sugar factory, which is on its death bed, revived fully with new machines, Kitinda dairy, Malakisi cotton ginnery, among others, so as to revamp this region’s economy," Mr Lichuma said.
The elders lauded President Ruto for honouring his pre-election promise to Mr Wetang’ula, noting that it demonstrates that he will also honour the 30 percent government share promised in a pact with Mr Wetang’ula and Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi.
Mr Werangai said the region was given false promises by previous governments.
“For a long time, we in the Western region have been used and lied to by politicians who gave us false promises," he said.
"We pray that the partnership of President Ruto and Speaker Wetang’ula will be of great benefit to the Mulembe people, who have suffered a lot in the opposition cold, with lack of tangible development from previous governments and a huge unemployment rate among our youths.”
The elders expressed hope that the “hustler funds” promised by Kenya Kwanza, a universal healthcare scheme and others will be implemented soon.