Oparanya: State using graft claims to make me abandon Raila

Wycliffe Oparanya

Former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Former Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya (right) has accused the Kenya Kwanza administration of using graft allegations to get him to switch his political allegiance from Opposition leader Raila Odinga to President William Ruto.

Mr Oparanya claimed the government asked him to abandon Mr Odinga during last week's raids by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) officials and help President Ruto market Western region ahead of the 2027 elections.

Mr Oparanya, who was speaking in Vihiga County, said President Ruto wants him to be his “key person in Western” and that was why the government was "harassing him with arrests and graft allegations".

The claims come less than a week after the EACC raided his homes in Nairobi and Kakamega over alleged mismanagement of Sh1.3 billion when he was the Kakamega County boss.

"No amount of intimidation will make me abandon my loyalty to Raila Odinga," Mr Oparanya vowed.

"Ruto has Mudavadi and Wetang'ula. Let him stick to them and leave me alone,” he added.

Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi urged President Ruto to stop seeking political support from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) deputy party leader and instead focus on working with Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula, with whom he has teamed up ahead of the 2022 General Election.

"I chair the Public Accounts and Investments Committee in the Senate and I can say that I have gone through the audit reports and Mr Oparanya is clean. So, anyone who wants information on how Oparanya used the funds should come and ask me. Those who wanted to arrest him have other motives and we want to tell them that we will remain steadfast in ODM," said Mr Osotsi.

President Ruto is on a five-day tour of Western region to launch development projects. However, the visit is being seen in some quarters as an attempt by the President to weaken Mr Odinga's grip on the region.