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Western leaders hint at Amani, Ford Kenya merger

Thursday March 29 2018

Ford-Kenya

Ford-Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula (left) and his ANC counterpart Musalia Mudavadi hold a rally in Mbale, Vihiga County, on March 24, 2018. They have hinted at a possible merger. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

PATRICK LANG'AT
By PATRICK LANG'AT
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Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC) and Moses Wetang’ula’s Ford-Kenya have hinted at the merger of the parties, citing mistreatment by their previous political partners.

The statement by 10 MPs from the two parties is the latest in the fallout that has occurred in Nasa after Mr Wetang’ula was stripped off his Senate minority leader seat in favour of Siaya Senator James Orengo of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), led by Raila Odinga.

The MPs - led by Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren, Ford Kenya) and Ayub Savula (Lugari, ANC) - said they had agreed to push for a united front.

“We want to warn those who have benefited by dividing the people of Western that your days are numbered.

"We know who you are and we will deal with you,” Dr Simiyu, who is also the Ford-Kenya secretary-general, told journalists after a meeting at a Nairobi hotel.

“We will work together. And if it requires us to dissolve our parties, form a new one or join another already-formed, we will do it,” he said.

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DIVISION
Dr Simiyu referred to the elusive western region political unity, saying they had been made to disintegrate during elections, a scenario he said should come to an end.

“From now henceforth, Western people, including Trans Nzoia, will move together as a team.

"Previously, outsiders have caused divisions, as they (outsiders) benefit from the divisions by ascending to positions of power. We will make sure that this will be a thing of the past,” he said.

Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang’ula anger against their counterparts in Nasa, especially ODM after Mr Wetang’ula’s ouster, became clear last week when the two leaders said the region was no longer interested in the seat.

MINORITY LEADER
ODM has distanced itself from the ouster, saying it was a decision of senators and Mr Wetang’ula was wrong to blame Mr Odinga over the same.

“Even if offered the seat, I will not take it. Wakae nayo, ahsante. (Let them stay with it, thank you). Let the games begin. We shall give them small but measured doses,” Mr Wetang’ula said on Sunday.

Mr Mudavadi had on Sunday also hinted at plans for western Kenya parties to merge and form a formidable political outfit ahead of 2022 elections.

“Other regions have done it. I don’t see the reason we should not do it,” he said.

During the press conference, Dr Simiyu, who refused to say whether the new deal meant the death of Nasa or the signal of a fight against ODM, said that MPs in Mr Odinga’s party had expressed interest in the new drive to unite the vote-rich region.