Raila woos Vihiga as Mudavadi, Wetang’ula dismiss Azimio jobs

Raila Odinga addressing a rally in Mbale town,

Azimio la Umoja presidential aspirant Raila Odinga addressing a rally in Mbale town, Vihiga County on May 25, 2022.

Photo credit: Isaac Wale | Nation Media Group

Kenya Kwanza Alliance principals Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula have ridiculed the two positions dangled by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party presidential candidate Raila Odinga to Luhya leaders.

Mr Odinga on May 16 pledged to nominate Mr Wycliffe Oparanya and Mr Kenneth Marende to the positions of Treasury Cabinet Secretary and Senate Speaker, respectively, if elected.

But, yesterday, Mr Wetang’ula said such positions had been occupied by Luhya leaders before, citing Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka and Mr Mudavadi’s tenure as Finance Minister in the 1990s.

They also challenged Democratic Action Party-Kenya (DAP-K) leader and Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa to disclose to voters what else they have been offered as a region in the Azimio pact.

Stop criticising deal

They told their Azimio rivals to stop criticising their deal with Deputy President William Ruto without offering an alternative. Speaking during a campaign rally in Sirisia, Bungoma County, the duo said they secured a 30 per cent offer in the Kenya Kwanza government.

“We are going to get 30 per cent of all government appointments and the agreement is with the Registrar of Political Parties,” said Mr Wetang’ula. The Bungoma senator said the entire community would benefit from the next government as opposed to the awarding of jobs to a few individuals. He regretted that Western leaders supporting Mr Odinga were celebrating over the two positions.

“If it’s Finance minister, Mr Mudavadi held the docket and if it’s the Senate Speaker, it’s already with Mr Lusaka, who is here. So what’s new that Mr Odinga is giving to the Luhya nation?” Mr Wetang’ula posed. He said they would share the percentage they had secured with the community:“Ours is to see our community getting a fair share of the national cake.”

They said their interest in Kenya Kwanza is not about sharing government positions, but to ensure the community benefits.

Senator

“I don’t want to be a cabinet secretary. What I want is to continue being your senator so that those jobs are given to our community members,” Mr Wetang’ula said.

Mr Mudavadi expressed confidence that his unity with Mr Wetang’ula had locked out Azimio from Western region.

“By coming together, we have fulfilled former Vice President Michael Wamalwa Kijana’s dreams of uniting the community that had been torn apart due to a longstanding Bukusu-Maragoli rivalry,” he said.

He claimed that Mr Odinga does not have the interests of the Luhya at heart, adding that the community should not vote him come August.

And in Vihiga, Mr Mudavadi’s backyard, Mr Odinga yesterday asked residents to support his August 9 bid, promising goodies for the region before the elections.

Kaimosi Friends University College charter

Mr Odinga pledged to return to the county "soon" in the company of President Kenyatta to award a charter to Kaimosi Friends University College. Mr Odinga further pledged to push for the release of Sh200 million to fund the distribution of water from the Sh1.7 billion Vihiga cluster water project.

While addressing residents in a series of stopovers, Mr Odinga said plans to award the charter and release the Sh200 million are complete. Mr Wamalwa, who accompanied Mr Odinga, assured locals that his Education counterpart, Prof George Magoha, had told him that the charter was ready for issuance.

Mr Odinga and Mr Wamalwa noted that the university was ripe for a charter, coming at a time when Senator George Khaniri said the petition he gave to the President over the same matter had been considered.

The higher learning institution, an offshoot of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, was started in September 2014 and has enhanced its infrastructure as it readies for the impending upgrade.

Mr Odinga was speaking when he addressed a leader's meeting at Sosa Cottages and a stopover at Cheptulu township, which neighbours the university college. He also addressed other well-attended stopovers at Shamakhokho, Mudete and Mbale, and later a rally in Luanda town.

In addition to his bag of goodies, Mr Odinga assured locals that the much-awaited granite factory in Emuhaya Sub-county will soon be a reality. He said a feasibility study had been undertaken at the site where the factory is to be established.

Uhuru visit

Mr Odinga noted that President Kenyatta will "soon" visit the county in the company of an investor who will put up the factory.

"An investor will be brought before Uhuru leaves office. We are also aware the mega water project is complete but people are yet to get water because Sh200 million is yet to be released to fund distribution. This will also be brought, together with the university charter, before Uhuru leaves office," said Mr Odinga.

He also made a pledge to address the request by the locals to have a campus for the Kenya School of Government established. Also on his list of pledges was the establishment of Ebunangwe Technical Training College. Mr Odinga promised to tarmack roads in the county after the August 9 General Election if he is elected President.

He reminded the people who turned up to listen to him that this election will be the start of the third revolution that is aimed at revamping the ailing economy as well as empowering women and youth.

"Everybody will get a chance to be educated and later get a reasonable employment and not pushing a wheelbarrow," said Mr Odinga as he took a swipe at DP Ruto's bottom-up approach.

He added: "Those who want to start up businesses will be given soft loans and get a grace period of seven years before they start to repay."

Mr Odinga asked the more than 300,000 voters in Mr Mudavadi's backyard to back him so as to help reclaim the country.

Mr Khaniri assured Mr Odinga that voters in Western region have supported him in the past and would still do so despite the exit of Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang'ula.

"We have faith in you and we know you will end corruption and cause economic growth," Mr Khaniri said. Suna East MP Junet Muhammed castigated Dr Ruto after he agreed that he owns 2,500 acres in Taita Taveta.

Mr Muhammed asked Dr Ruto to share out the land with the poor "if he cares about their plight".

Other leaders present were governors Anyang' Nyong'o (Kisumu), Wilber Ottichilo (Vihiga) and Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega). Also present was former Speaker Kenneth Marende and a host of MP who hailed Mr Odinga for promising to appoint Mr Oparanya as Treasury CS in his government if elected president.


Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.