The choice of Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa by a section of Western political leaders as the region’s representatives has rattled Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi and his allies.
On Wednesday, seven MPs allied to the ANC leader registered their opposition over the move by their 27 colleagues saying it had sidelined their man.
The MPs, who included Mr Alfred Agoi (Sabatia), Mr Omboko Milemba (Emuhaya) and Ms Beatrice Adagala (Vihiga County) said they were not part of the meeting that endorsed Mr Wamalwa and Mr Oparanya, and were not involved in its planning. Others were Mr Christopher Aseka (Khwisero), Mr John Bunyasi (Nambale), Mr Titus Khamala (Luhrambi) and Mr Ernest Kivai (Vihiga).
In a statement released by Mr Mudavadi’s Press Secretary Kibisu Kabatesi, the seven MPs said they only learnt of the development through the media.
Mr Mudavadi’s allies said the agenda of the meeting by their 27 colleagues was to exclude and isolate certain leaders from the region from the political negotiating table.
In the meeting, the 27 MPs strategised on securing a seat at the political high table in a move that could, for the first time, ensure that leaders from the region are not merely peddling parties. However, the meeting is already adding to the political divisions that have seen the vote-rich region left out since 2013.
The lawmakers accused Mr Oparanya and Mr Wamalwa of causing divisions in the Luhya leadership and working in favour of “their sponsor”.
They claimed it was a plot by Mr Oparanya to tame Mr Mudavadi in Kakamega, Busia and Vihiga counties as Mr Wamalwa does the same on Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties.
The MPs expressed concern that the said meetings allegedly had the blessings of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Raila Odinga.
“We beseech our two brothers not to allow themselves to be used as destructive proxies to divide the Luhya vote and betray their brother Mr Mudavadi,” thy said.
Mr Mudavadi has already declared his interest to succeed Mr Kenyatta when he retires in 2022 after serving his constitutional two terms, while Mr Oparanya is harbouring similar ambitions.