James Orengo hints at a Kikuyu-Luo political alliance

Wednesday March 18 2020
Orengo-pic

Siaya Senator James Orengo who has hinted at a Kikuyu-Luo political alliance which he said will make Kenya a great country, with systems that would work for all. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By NDUNGU GACHANE

Siaya Senator James Orengo, who is also opposition chief Raila Odinga’s ally, has hinted at a Kikuyu-Luo political alliance which he said will make Kenya a great country, with systems that would work for all.

Mr Orengo, while speaking at Kariguini Primary School where President Kenyatta was present, asked the Head of State to be confident since Kenyans are behind him in building the systems where people will never care who ascended to power but to have a better legacy.

CODED LANGUAGE

In coded language, the Senate Minority Chief Whip said the lake and the mountain could join hands to make Kenya a great country with a better legacy and systems for all Kenyan communities.

He reminded Kenyans that it was futile to have a President for the sake of it, yet the country did not have systems.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta, be confident that the Kenyan people are behind you about building this system and we have a conversation together without fearing and make Kenya great. We are better than most counties in Africa and Murang’a is right at the centre of Kenya and together, between the lake and the mountain, we can make a greater nation rise,” Mr Orengo told the President and mourners during Mr Charles Rubia’s funeral service last week Monday.

Advertisement

UHURU-RAILA TRUCE

According to the Senator, the truce between his party leader and the President has changed the country for the better since other countries have had many political experiments that did not seem to work, but with the partnership between Mr Odinga and Mr Kenyatta, there seemed to be light at the end of the tunnel.

“I plead with Kenyans, we can talk politics and the Constitution … Your Excellency, what you have come up with for the Kenyan people to talk, please let us talk and seize the opportunity for the country to have a better legacy.

“Kenya is bigger than all of us. The last time I checked, what we are concerned about is not who ascends to power, it’s about creating a system that works for all of us. After that I think the Kenyan people will have a better legacy; and remember that even Idi Amin was a President; if all you want from your tribe is a President, he was a President, but what system did he have?” he posed.

POLITICAL GIANTS

The Senator, who was sent by Mr Odinga to deliver his condolence message to the family of Charles Rubia, said both Siaya and Murang’a have produced political giants and rekindled memories when the two regions were under Ford Asili, saying there were Luo councillors elected in Murang’a and vice versa, adding that is the patriotism Kenya needs to have.

This is not the first time Mr Orengo is hinting at an alliance between the two leaders, a move that, if it materialises, could bring to an end the bitter political rivalry between the two communities that dates back to 1966, when Mr Oginga Odinga and Mzee Jomo Kenyatta fell out.

That was the year Jaramogi finally quit the ruling party to form his own.

It was also the year the onslaught on Jaramogi and his supporters began in earnest. It escalated over the following four years.

Mzee Kenyatta changed electoral and national security laws — with much the same speed that his son did in the aftermath of the August 2017 elections — to force members of Jaramogi’s new party to seek re-election.

Mzee Kenyatta also deployed state machinery against him and his supporters. This was successful everywhere except in Nyanza, Jaramogi’s primary support base.

POLITICAL RIVALRY

The election cycles in the country have been bringing the Kikuyu-Luo rivalry to the surface, save for 2002 when the Luo community was on the same side with the Agikuyu when Mr Odinga supported former President Mwai Kibaki with the famous Kibaki Tosha slogan.

The two communities have not been able to draw a line between the Agikuyu and Kenyatta’s, and Luo and Odingas, with the Kikuyu perceiving Mr Odinga as the face of opposition while the Luos view Mr Kenyatta as the face of oppressive government.

Mt Kenya leaders have in the past supported the political pact between the President and Mr Odinga, hailing the handshake and calling on the two to work together.

Such leaders include Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Nominated MP Maina Kamanda, Gatanga MP Nduati Ngugi and former Mukurwe-ini MP Kabando wa Kabando.

Mr Ngugi said the two have united the country, a move that has stabilised the economy, and they have showed commitment in fighting graft.

“Since the two leaders have the largest following in the country, I have proposed that Jubilee and ODM merge and the two leaders vie on the same ticket to lead the country,” he told Sunday Nation.