Wetang'ula and Wamalwa end rivalry

Saturday July 21 2018

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula (left) and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa show the signed accord ending their rivalry, at Mabanga Grounds in Bungoma County on July 20, 2018. PHOTO | DENNIS LUBANGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa on Friday resolved to work together, ending years of political rivalry.

The leaders buried the hatchet during a meeting at Mabanga in Bungoma County, with the highlight of the reconciliation being a handshake.

They later appended their signatures to a new accord in which they agreed to walk the same political path.

The two politicians have previously engaged in a bitter, at times bloody battle for political supremacy in western and sections of the North Rift.

The rivalry started when Mr Wamalwa unsuccessfully challenged Mr Wetang’ula for the leadership of Ford Kenya ahead of the 2013 General Election.


Defeated, Mr Wamalwa formed the New Ford Kenya. In that election, Mr Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya joined forces with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and the Wiper party to rally behind opposition chief Raila Odinga’s presidential bid.

Mr Wamalwa, on the other hand, backed then United Democratic Front (UDF) presidential candidate Musalia Mudavadi.

In the run-up to the 2017 election, Mr Wamalwa wound up New Ford Kenya to join the Jubilee Party and was reappointed to the Cabinet following President Kenyatta’s victory.

Mr Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya, on the other hand, rallied behind Mr Odinga. He has since fallen out with Mr Odinga following the March 9 handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta.


On Friday, the duo planted a tree in a symbolic show of unity, and a demonstration of their willingness to sacrifice their ambitions for the sake of unity.

Mr Wamalwa gave a nostalgic history of his days in Ford Kenya and the unfortunate split that has 'haunted' the Luhya community since then.

"My brother Moses Wetang'ula and I have been at war for the last nine years. But now it is time we cured the rift between us and unite to work for the good of our people," Mr Wamalwa said.

He went on: "This is not something we are trying to do, it is what must do because the very future of our people depends on this unity."


Mr Wetang'ula, on the other hand, observed that divisions between the two leaders had hurt members of their community whom had been looking up to them for political direction.

"Eugene and I have the responsibility and mandate of our community to reach out to our brothers Musalia Mudavadi, Wycliffe Oparanya and Sospeter Ojaamong," Senator Wetang'ula said.

During the declaration at Mabanga Grounds, the Bukusu Council of Elders endorsed Mr Wetang'ula and Mr Wamalwa as the only spokespersons for the Bukusu community.

The elders also tasked the two to reach out to Mr Mudavadi, who is the Amani National Congress (ANC), party leader to foster unity.