Written by Protus Simiyu and Leonard Wamalwa
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Dr. George Masafu the West Fm Board Chair and former Kimilili Mp Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi at the funerel of Mzee Jestimore Webi in Lutonyi village. The political leaders present called for unity among themselves before reaching out to other communities. [Photo | Protus Simiyu | West Fm]
Bungoma County political leaders once more reiterated their calls for unity with renewed commitment of being one before they would seek to establish a regional political alliance geared towards winning the forth coming polls.
The Lands Assistant Minister Mr. Bifwoli Wakoli insists that the Bukusu community must unite first before going out to foster unity with the remaining 17 sub tribes of the Luhya community.
Wakoli asserted that it will be useless for leaders in Bungoma County to champion for unity with other communities when as a community they divided.
The Bumula legislator told mourners, family and residents of Lutonyi village, Chebukwabi location in Kimilili during the burial of the late Senior Chief Jestimore Webi Sitati that unity talks between the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Eugene Wamalwa and Trade Minister Moses Wetangula are going to ensure the Bukusu community is united ahead of the polls.
''It is important that as a community we must unite, unite with other Luhya sub-tribes and the rest of Kenya,'' Wakoli said.
He revealed that as leaders they are aware that if they go into the elections divided chances of scooping the top seat are minimal.
''Wakoli insisted that the Luhya unity is not about individuals, but the electorate from the region regardless of the political affiliations, '' it is not about Eugene, Bifwoli, Jirongo, Wetangula or Mudavadi, but the Luhya community, Wakoli said.
Assistant Lands Minister Bifwoli Wakoli.
He said in order for other communities and political parties to respect the western region, they should swallow their political pride and work together in the interest of the community.
‘‘As a community we are determined to ensure that this region is not a swing vote come the elections as usual, we must unite and produce only presidential candidate,'' he held.
Former Kimilili Mp Dr Mukhisa Kituyi said he supports the unity between the Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa and Trade Minister Moses Wetangula. In unison, he also said unity should not be fostered only in Bungoma County but the entire western region to gain strong political mileage.
Mukhisa disclosed that even though the Saboti Mp was the first one in the Luhya community to announce his presidential bid, his preference is DPM Musalia Mudavadi saying he is the most experienced.
This did not resonate well to the mourners who heckled him saying the decision should be left to the electorate. This forced him to end his speech abruptly as pressure mounted on him to withdraw his statement and apologize.
On his part, Livestock PS Keneth Lusaka said for progress in Bungoma County, there must be a unity geared toward benefiting the residents of the County.
He said the ongoing unity in Bungoma County should not aim at blocking individuals to ascend to power.
Lusaka told leaders to invest in Bungoma and initiate development programs to empower the residents.
He said it is sad that despite the resources, poverty levels in Bungoma County stand at 50 percent while blaming this on bad leadership.
Mzee Jestimore Webi leaves behind 5 sons, 2 daughters, 53 grandchildren and 44 great grand children, a total of 106. He passed on, on July 3, 2012 at the Nairobi Womens Hospital.
In a separate burial function in Bungoma North, Livestock Development Permanent Secretary Kenneth Lusaka told mourners at Nabiswa village of Mbakalu location during the burial ceremony of Hanna Nambuye, 79, a mother-in-law of his Labour counterpart Beatrice Kituyi that the county needs to have leaders who have development records and whose image is not tainted in any manner.
"In order for us to achieve in managing the problems such as those of poor roads and underdevelopment among many other aspects in this county we need leaders who can manage the resources in an accountable manner. We need somebody who cannot mismanage or steal the same resources 'if you put a thief in the granary, do you expect your things to be safe," the PS asked the mourners.
Labour PS Beatrice Kituyi (putting on shades) at the funeral of her maother in-law Hanna Khisa in Nabiswa village of Mbakalo location in Bungoma North district among other family members. [PHOTO | Leonard Wamalwa]
He said that the area needs leaders who will equitably share the resources among all the communities residing in the county so that each of them gets a share of the resources at their disposal.
"This county has many communities including the Bukusu, Teso, Sabaot, Tura, Tachoni and Maragolis especially here in the schemes hence we need to look at the integrity of the leaders we elect in positions at the county level," Lusaka said.
He called for unity among the people in the county regardless of their tribal and political affiliations so that they can achieve the desired development as a county and not as communities or tribes.
At the same time a female civic leader from Trans Nzoia County accused male politicians within Western region for having failed to unite the dominant Luhya community.
Councilor Janet Nangabo of Kitale Municipal Council thus urged women within Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties to rise to the occasion and be counted by challenging the male politicians in vying for different elective seats.
"I want to tell you women who are here, both young and old that these seats of governors, senators, MPs and many others are yours, come out and vie for them alongside these men, don't fear them because they have already failed in their mandate to have their people united," Nangabo told mourners amid cheers.
The funeral was also attended by Luhya council of elders chairman Patrick Wangamati among other leaders and people from all walks of life.
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