The Star (Nairobi)

29 March 2013

Kenya: I'm the Western Kinpin, Wetang'ula Tells Luhya

Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula has proclaimed himself the political supremo in Western Kenya on account of the party's performance in the March 4 general election.

"I am now the senior most politician in the region.... Ford Kenya now has 11MPs, five senators and 65 county representatives which is no mean achievement from only one MP in 2007," the Bungoma senator elect said on Wednesday.

In apparent reference to New Ford Kenya leader Eugene Wamalwa and his UDF colleague Musalia Mudavadi decision to work with the Jubilee alliance of President elect Uhuru Kenyatta Wetang'ula quipped: those others have gone where where they have gone without consultation or your support but we are on course to unite our people..our party can only grow stronger.

Wetang'ula, who is one of the three Cord coalition principals said they were keeping their fingers crossed as they await the Supreme Court's decision on the election petition filed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga challenging IEBC's declaration of Uhuru as president elect. Vice President Kalonzo is the other coalition's principal.

Wetang'ula was speaking at the Masinde Muliro Stadium in Bungoma Town after the swearing into office of Kenneth Lusaka as governor presided over by Judge Francis Gikonyo. Wetang'ula flew into the venue aboard a chopper in the company of MPs Chris Wamalwa-Kiminini, Dr Eseli Simiyu-Tongaren. Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi had arrived earlier by road.

Lusaka was elected governor on a New Ford Kenya ticket along with two MPs-Dan Wanyama of Webuye West and Boniface Otsiula of Bumula while Alfred sambu claimed the Webuye West seat on a UDF ticket as John Serut reclaimed the Mt Elgon seat as an independent candidate.

However, Wamalwa, the Justice minister who was in Naivasha at a retreat with Uhuru and Deputy President elect William Ruto after signing a post election pact with the Jubilee leaders swiftly reacted that Wetang'ula declaration amounted to "wishful thinking and day dreaming". He did not comment further.

Eseli, the Ford Kenya secretary general said he was out to "convince members of smaller parties to join" his party but pledged that leaders from across the political divide collaborate to foster rapid development.

Waluke sparked off the political proceedings by endorsing Wetang'ula as the region's spokesman when he said that "Eugene had taken off to Central and Mudavadi has no say now after failing in his presidential bid in the just concluded elections.

Consequently, the Sirisia MP urged that Wetang'ula be accorded support arguing that other regions have their spokesmen. "When others rally behind their leaders there is no tribalism but when Luhyas rally behind one of their own they say that is tribalism,".

His Kiminini counterpart said although the elections were over political party activities would continue "because they are like churches". He said it was prudent to grow Ford Kenya into a large political party whose torch bearer could run for the presidency.

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