Advertisement

Police stop Wetang'ula meeting in Malava, Raila ally 'attacked'

Saturday June 20 2020
By BENSON AMADALA  
By DERRICK LUVEGA

Police on Saturday stopped a meeting convened by Ford-Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula at the home of Malava MP Malulu Injendi.

The meeting was to strategise on the political direction for the Luhya community ahead of 2022 presidential poll.

A contingent of anti-riot place set up road blocks along the Kakamega-Malava road, cutting off traffic to the home of the MP.

Police officers were forced to lob teargas canisters to disperse a crowd at the home of the MP.

Mr Wetang'ula and a group of MPs later converged at the Kakamega Sports Club after attending the burial of Luanda MP Christopher Omulele’s mother. 

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Advertisement

Western Region Police Commander Peris Kimani said the meeting could not proceed because it contravened the Covid-19 social distancing guidelines by the Ministry of Health.

“I have given firm instructions to the county commanders in Vihiga and Kakamega to enforce the law and ensure the guidelines are observed by everybody. We will not allow the meeting to proceed," said Ms Kimani.

Several MPs,  including former chief whip in the National Assembly Benjamin Washiali,  had managed to gain access the home of Mr Malulu.

Mr Malulu said he will not be intimidated by the move by police to stop the meeting.

"We have made choices and we know choices have consequences. There is no turning back in our crusade to back a presidential candidate of our choice," said Mr Malulu.

New Content Item (1)

Police shield Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi (second right) from irate mourners during burial Luanda MP Chris Omulele’s mother Sophia Monyo in Luanda on June 20, 2020. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Earlier Saturday, Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi, an ally of ODM leader Raila Odinga was forced to cut short his speech during the burial.

The legislator had told off a section of Luhya leaders to stop dragging Mr Odinga’s name into the elusive Luhya unity talk.

Mr Atandi, who had represented Mr Odinga at the burial that has heavy police presence, had to cut short his speech after he was confronted by a group of rowdy youth. 

The MP was forced to take cover in the compound where the funeral was being held as the police came to his rescue.

The angry mourners accused Mr Atandi of disrespecting the community and its leadership. The MP was later escorted out of the venue by the police.

Mr Atandi had accused the Luhya leaders for discussing unity at a time when the world was fighting against coronavirus pandemic.

"The future of Kenya does not depend on what you do as a community," said Mr Atandi who appeared to pour cold water on calls for Luhya unity.

The burial was attended by Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, Ford-Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula and Vihiga Senator George Khaniri.

MPs Omboko Milemba (Emuhaya), Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini), Alfred Agoi (Sabatia), Godfrey Osotsi (Nominated), Dan Wanyama (Webuye West) and Charles Gimose (Hamisi) attended.

Mr Lusaka steered clear of politics saying his role does not allow him to speak about politics. Mr Wetang'ula said that he and ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi were pushing the region's unity.

RUTO LINK

"There are people who think when you are not on their side, you are on the side they are opposed to," said Mr Wetang'ula in what appeared to be a response to Mr Odinga's camp that recently linked them to Deputy President William Ruto.

He went on: "How do we support you when we have one of our own, we are calling on Luhyas to know that all politics is local."

"When it comes to the unity of our community, there must be no boundary among our 18 sub-tribes and party affiliations," he added.

He revisited the Friday meeting at his Bungoma home that was disrupted by the police who lobbed teargas.

"Some excited police officers came and threw teargas at my home. This is not acceptable," said Mr Wetang'ula.

COMMUNITY DIVIDED

Senator Khaniri said it was a pity that the community was divided into two camps, one led by Mr Wetang'ula and Mr Mudavadi and another by Kakamega Governor Mr Wycliffe Oparanya and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa.

Mr Wamalwa and Mr Oparanya were named the community spokespersons at the Kajiado home of Central Organisation of Trade Unions boss Francis Atwoli last month.

They have since been traversing the region in disguise of uniting the community and pushing the development agenda.

"I am not happy with the division, people are watching us. When shall we learn? Let us unite and seek friendships.

Mr Wamalwa, the Kiminini MP, however, said the community will only listen to Mr Wetang'ula and Mr Mudavadi.

"They (Wetang'ula and Mudavadi) are our known leaders. We cannot allow leaders who have been created by outsiders. We want one of us to be elected to State House," he said.

He laughed off the clamour for development by Mr Wamalwa and Mr Oparanya saying that it is only through Parliament that resources are allocated and not through political gatherings.

Mr Agoi said the Mulembe community has suffered for over 50 years leading to the collapse of sugar millers and Pan Paper factory.

"Let us tell Raila that the support we have given him for over 20 years is enough and we will not support him again," he said.

Advertisement