The COTU boss Francis Atwoli made history in the populous former western province hosting a historic first unity rally that saw the Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi crowned the leader and spokesman of the region.
Mudavadi emerged tops among three other personalities from the region in the communities’ of the area desperate efforts seeking for unity and speaking as one voice through a single spokesman.
The research study conducted by the University of Nairobi’s Department of political science and Research between July and October 2016 after sampling more than 2500 respondents from the region, Mudavadi scored 39 per cent, Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula tied at 33 percent with Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya for political leadership.
Despite efforts by the President and his Deputy’s deliberate efforts to derail the event, it went on smoothly attended by more than 50, 000 represents from Busia, Bugoma, Kakamega, Vihiga and Trans Nzoia counties. The elders from the 18 Luhyia clans and their colleagues from the Teso and Saboat communities attended the historic event.
The COTU Secretary General told the event that a large number of the sitting MPs from the region who failed to attend the event had been compromised with Kshs. 3 million bribe to attend an unknown function at President William Ruto’s rural home at Sugoi area in Turbo.
Those in attendance included the chairman of the Western Province Members of Parliament caucus John Sakwa Bunyasi, Funyula’s Paul Otuoma, Lugari’s Ayub Savula, Vihiga’s Yusuf Chanzu, Lurambi’s Talo, Ben Andola of Khwisero, Charles Gimose – Hamisi among others. The region’s governors were noticeably loudly absent apart from the Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
The MPs who were loudly conspicuously absent were David Were Matungu, Senator Bonny Khalwale, Ben Washiali, Injendi Malulu among others all of whom have publicly declared their defection to Jubilee which was declared the enemy of the region.
The COTU boss warned that those who had been compromised to sabotage the unity of the people of the western Kenya region including any future attempts to derail the unity their political futures were doomed, particularly at next year’s general elections.
He enumerated the efforts he had put into trying o unite region since before the year 2011 targeting not only its elected leaders but also professionals and other opinion leaders from the community that has since seen for the first time the emergence of the Western Kenya Parliamentarians Caucus.
Mr. Atwoli was also given the mandate to read the Bukhungu declaration which among other things empowered Mr. Mudavadi to speak for the communities of the region, seek for the presidency as the flag bearer of the region at the next general elections, seek alliances with likeminded personalities, political parties, institutions and organizations for the interests of people of the region.
“From today following this declaration it must be made clear to greedy political brokers who have been exploiting the powerful populous vote of the region to fill their stomachs that time is over dead and gone,” said Mr. Atwoli.
He continued: “The foreign political tourists who have been coming here in this region to flout the might of their pockets to compromise our people to support them will no longer be allowed. If there is anything political they want from this region they must go through Mudavadi who is now our crowned leader and spokesman.”
The COTU boss declared that following his aggressively spirited efforts to unite the communities of the former western Kenya region, a clique of compromised elected leaders and their hirelings were now threatening to kill him since they knew that he was not compromisable.
“At one time the situation was so bad that I asked Mr. Savula that we go to the police to record a statement about these threats, and they immediately started telephoning him threatening to kill him as well. Those wanting anything from Western without going through Mudavadi first, they must know they have nothing here,” he said.
This state of affairs just goes to show how far how the stakes are extremely high for the regions’ seconding leading in numbers votes which was once considered the hunting ground for the Presidential winning votes because their perceived fractiously divisive manner.
With a consolidated highly united bloc and a single powerful voice, that bloc becomes a deadly weapon if it is going to determine the political destiny and interests of the region both in the short and long terms of the country’s political future.
The Chairman the MPs’ Caucus Mr. Bunyasi said: “We the people of the western Kenya region have the power and capacity to determine not only our own political destiny but above the political destiny of this country because we have the numbers.”
He argues that time has come when leaders from the region must stop looking only for their greedy personal interests but fight for the bigger picture of fighting for the national interests and prosperity of its leaders in national leadership particularly the presidency which is long overdue for the region – “We can no longer afford playing second fiddle to any community in this country, we must be the ones taking and keeping the lead,” he added.
Mudavadi’s acceptance speech emphasized his total commitment to serve the communities and the peoples of the region right from the grassroots through the national to international levels after being officially bestowed that honour.
He promised to reach out for the national leaders like Raila Odinga, Kalonzo, Musyoka, Moses Wetangula, those from the region who had gone wayward like Ababu Namwamba, Ken Lusaka, Gedion Moi, Bomet governor Isaac Rutto, Musikari Kombo and Coast, Nyanza, Rift valley, Nairobi, Central, Eastern and North Eastern leaders among many others to come back in the fold and work together as a team for the bigger national interests rather than personal greed for which those in the government have ruthlessly exploited over the years to date.
-additional reporting by Musa Radoli