The Elders, Leaders and People from western Kenya yesterday declared to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto including other Presidential aspirants that they must go through Musalia Mudavadi to solicit the powerful voting bloc from the region.
They declared that the time for wealthy political opportunistic tourists and brokers to exploit the region’s massive voting bloc is over once and for all with measures to seal all loopholes that have exposed the region to fractured voting in place for ruthless execution.
They declared: “Those who have been coming to this region with fat financial pockets to exploit our votes with their ill earned booty are put on notice that from today that is over. Let them come with their money our people will take it but our votes will go where we want because they are no longer for sale as has been the perception.”
The declarations were made during the historic Western Kenya Communities Convergence rally at Bukhungu stadium of Kakamega town hosted by the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli.
He emerged tops against his competitors Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula and Wycliffe Oparanya who tied at 33 per cent while Mudavadi scored 39 per cent out of the 2500 respondents from Kakamega, Bungoma, Vihiga, Busia and Trans Nzoia Counties that were interviewed during the study.
The event was attended by elected leaders from all these counties, councils of elders leaders representing all the ethnic communities living in the region, church leaders, professionals, political parties leaders and politicians, women leaders and members of the public estimated at more than 500, 000 all who agreed with the declarations.
The gathering also declared that political leaders particularly Members of Parliament, Members of the County Assemblies and Governors who had defected to Jubilee following massive monetary inducements and failed to attend the event had forfeited their political careers and consigned them to oblivion.
Mr. Atwoli who read the Bukhungu Declaration 2017 said: “We are naturally a peace loving people who are only demanding free and fair play that is all inclusive and justice for our communities. We abhor discrimination to all groups as we eschew democratic principles and practices that we have maintained since independence, but deeply regret that many have abused it and wronged us without apology.”
He said that while the leaders and the communities of the region will continue pursuing peace and harmony we must warn those who thrive on dividing and exploiting us for their own political gain as our people are relegated to abject poverty and ridicule to them we tell them no more of that and demand for reciprocacity in whatever the communities give.
The COTU boss said that now that the people of the region had settled on Mudavadi as their rallying and unifying force any leader from outside like Orange Democratic Movements (ODM) Raila Odinga, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka including those of the Jubilee administration must go through Mudavadi to gain any recognition or acceptance from the region’s communities.
Former cabinet minister and chairman of the region’s umbrella organization of the councils of elders Phillip Masinde led the tempo of the event when he said that for decades the communities of the region have been desperately looking for unity to stop being exploited despite their numerical superiority to foster development but failed dismally until now.
“There are foreigners who spend of shillings all the time to keep the communities of western Kenya divided so that we can forever remained enslaved to their political whims come every electioneering year. There is no question of tribalism here compared to what we have witnessed in central Kenya and the Rift Valley,” said Mr. Masinde.
He warned Members of Parliament from the region to desist being compromised through monetary cash bribes and unwarranted summonses to the State House since all these machinations and manipulations are engineered and executed by ‘foreigners’ who will never help put out fires when they start consuming their political careers.
The Elders Chairman pointed out that the search for the unity of the communities of the region started during the 1950s by personalities like the late Elijah Masinde, through the 1960s and 1970s by personalities like Masinde Muliro, Moses Amalemba, Martin Shikuku into the 1980s Moses Mudavadi among others but it remained elusive.
The Western Members of Parliament Parliamentary Caucus chairman, John Bunyasi dismissed the critics of the event saying they were myopic if they failed to realize the fact that there are many powerful forces within the country who are afraid of a united communities of western Kenya because of their powerful abilities to impact massively on the national agenda.
Mr. Bunyasi said: “They fear our unity because they know that it is within our powers to drastically change the destiny of this country, its leadership and the entire economy through the power of our unity and a unified voting bloc.”
He said whether the critics of a unified Western Kenya like it or not the power of the region is in the voting bloc that over the years has been badly exploited to catapult into power the retired Presidents Daniel Arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki regimes including that of President Kenyatta.
The Vihiga constituency legislator Yusuf Chanzu pointed out that in the year 2002 general elections Mudavadi supported the candidature of President Kenyatta, in the year 2007 the candidature of Raila Odinga without reciprocation from any of them now it was time that Mudavadi gunned for the Presidency with no barrels held back.
The sentiments were echoed by Lugari’s Ayub Savula who said: “In the 2017 general elections we must have our own going for the Presidency. We are tired of playing second fiddle when we have the numerical superiority that is perennially exploited by political brokers and political tourists greedy for power while we are trampled under.”
Savula warned that any political leaders or aspirants who ignored the Bukhungu Declaration will be doing so at their own political peril since all present had agreed on the unity and loc voting of the region as they declared Jubilee is the enemy of the region.
The Funyula legislator Paul Otuoma pointed out that it made completely no sense for the communities of the region to have numerical superiority in terms of voters yet every voting year they are rendered irrelevant through divisive manipulations engineered by outsiders who do not care about the destiny of the region.
-Additional Reporting By Musa Radoli