Raila Odinga offers Western 3 ministers, 7 PSs in deal

Azimio flagbearer Raila Odinga

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition flagbearer Raila Odinga. He has dangled more carrots for Western Kenya in a bid to ring-fence the region and counter Deputy President William Ruto’s forays.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition flagbearer Raila Odinga has dangled more carrots for Western Kenya in a bid to ring-fence the region and counter Deputy President William Ruto’s forays.

The former Prime Minister has now offered the region three more slots in the Cabinet and the National Assembly Majority Leader’s position as he seeks to galvanise his support in the five counties.

With more than two million registered voters up for grabs, Western will also get seven principal secretaries, five chief administrative secretaries, 12 ambassadorial positions and 10 parastatal board chairpersons should the Azimio coalition win the August 9 elections.

Mr Odinga has pledged to initiate major infrastructure projects in the five counties of Busia, Kakamega, Bungoma, Vihiga and Trans Nzoia in an attempt to neutralise Dr Ruto’s deal with Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula.

Four Cabinet slots

The Azimio presidential candidate had earlier said he would nominate Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya as the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary. This implies that Western will have four Cabinet slots.

He had also pledged to nominate former National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende as the Senate boss. While campaigning in Western recently, the former premier said he would retain Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa.

The details of the deal are contained in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that Mr Odinga signed with the Democratic Action Party (DAP-K).

Dr Ruto has offered Mr Mudavadi the position of Chief Cabinet Secretary and 30 per cent of the government share on condition that he delivers 70 per cent of the region’s votes.

Based on the agreement, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) withdrew some of its candidates in certain electoral areas in favour of DAP-K, which was formed to counter ANC and Ford-Kenya. ODM withdrew its gubernatorial aspirants in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia in favour of DAP-K’s Wycliffe Wangamati and George Natembeya, respectively.

Dropped gubernatorial bid

In Kakamega, DAP-K compelled Lugari MP Ayub Savula to drop his gubernatorial bid in favour of ODM’s Fernandez Barasa.

“Given the importance of fielding candidates that stand a high chance of winning in their respective seats, parties have evaluated their respective candidates, consulted, negotiated and agreed to complement each other by fielding the strongest candidates from either of the coalition partners and supporting each other’s candidates,” states the MoU.

Cotu secretary-general Francis Atwoli yesterday described Mr Mudavadi as a “thankless character” for supporting Dr Ruto. Mr Atwoli said Mr Odinga appointed many people from the region when he served as the Prime Minister in the grand coalition government.

“Luhyas have benefited from Mr Odinga’s leadership and love for our people. Mr Mudavadi is shameless to start talking ill of him when he has received so much from Odinga,” Mr Atwoli told the Nation.

“Mr Odinga made him deputy prime minister in the grand coalition government...Mr Mudavadi should tell our people what Dr Ruto has done for the region.”

Mr Odinga has also undertaken to set up fully-fledged universities in all the five counties.