The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Luhya Unity Plan Can't Work, Oparanya Says

PLANNING minister Wycliffe Oparanya has dismissed the proposed Luhya unity plan started by Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli.

Oparanya said Western leaders have remained divided and "lack the formula to bring together the people of Luhya community to form a solid and formidable voting bloc."

Addressing his supporters at Mabole Primary School in Butere, the minister scoffed off attempts by four presidential candidates to come up with a unity pact that will back one of them as the flag bearer.

He said Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto's efforts to lure Musalia Mudavadi into their Jubilee alliance was to hoodwink the Luhya people.

On Monday Musalia who has been the UDF presidential hopeful announced that the he had joined forces with Uhuru Kenyatta-led TNA and William Ruto's URP to frm Jubilee coalition. Musalia will now fight for the coalition's presidential nomination ticket with Uhuru.

"We know the unity will not work because there are a lot of vested interests from external forces that will not allow the alliance to work," said the minister. Without naming names Oparanya said, "some leaders are so cheap they will do anything at the expense of the unity of their communities."

The minister said the people of Western have never worked together for "a common political goal". He said "our people have always been used by other people to advance their political interests."

Oparanya said the western region has never voted as a bloc for one of their own. He said the people of Western Kenya will vote for Prime Minister Raila Odinga as the country's fourth president.

He claimed communities from the region lack numbers to enable their leaders bargain for a deal and can only benefit in political leadership through aligning to other communities. "Besides, they don't vote as a block to assist one of their own to rise to power" he noted.

He urged the Luhya people not to vote along tribal lines but choose Raila whom he described as the only person able to bring realization of the second liberation to Kenya.

Oparanya said Raila is the only presidential candidate who is committed to implementing the new constitution to the letter besides moving the country forward.

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