Wetang’ula starts journey to state house
Kakamega County. Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetang’ula finally accomplished his long awaited dream of launching a bid to vie for the seat of president in next year’s general elections despite strong opposition and chaos that marred his historic event that was held at Masinde Muliro gardens in Kakamega town.
Wetang’ula who is also Bungoma senator and leader of minority in the senate, waded through all the strong waves that aimed at disgruntling his launch that was postponed earlier on last month after a section of ODM leaders opposed his proposal to launch his bid in Kakamega and not Bungoma or elsewhere to make his political statement.
Violence and drama was witnessed in a better part of the event as Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya supporters especially youths remained vigilant and armed to repulse some ODM youths who entered the venue several times clad in ODM T-Shirts, caps and carrying banners as they tried to force their way into the main arena of the event.
At some point the Ford Kenya security youths who were manning the security fence that separated the crowd from the main arena had to unleash their anger to the handful ODM youths who had become a nuisance causing trouble at the venue long before the main guests arrived.
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The ODM youths were beaten up, their T-shirts torn and burned together with their banners as they got lost into the huge crowd never to reappear again.
However in what was seen as change of tact in their relentless efforts to ensure that the function aborts, they are believed to have been behind the two teargas canisters that were lobbed into the crowd and at the foot of the main dais a few seconds before Wetang’ula started making his acceptance speech after he was installed as a Luhya elder.
The fully packed venue was left empty for close to 30 minutes after everybody including the leaders at the main dais scampered for safety after the canisters exploded and unleashed the gas that left many crying for assistance including octogenarian elders of the Luhya community Mzee John Otiende and Burudi Nabwera.
Wetangula had just been introduced by one of the elders to give his maiden speech to the crowd after he had been installed as one of the elders in the community and as he was just taking the microphone from Kakamega senator Dr. Boni Khalwale and consulting him before taking over the stage is when hell broke loose and everybody ran helter-skelter in different directions through the painful smoke seeking for water to wash their face.
After calm was restored the leaders came back to the dais and the venue was refilled again by the anxious crowd who seemed determined to witness the main launch of the senator as he immediately took stage and started reading his written speech before making his sentiments pertaining the taunting task ahead of him.
“My presence here and the choice of this venue is a celebration of the ideals that Masinde Muliro fought and lived for and which he died hoping that it will be achieved one day. Today I invite all of you to join in the great journey that will resurrect his ideas,” said Wetangula in his opening remarks of his speech.
In what seemed the affirmation of his choice of Masinde Muliro Gardens for his launch he said that after the new constitution was passed with the center piece being devolution, new 7 regional capitals hence an event of that significance can take place in any of the seven capitals.
“I chose Kakamega just like I could have chosen Garissa, Isiolo, Lodwar, Bungoma, Nairobi or any other and indeed if you want to borrow from the United States of America, the unveiling of presidential candidates is never done in Washington but is always done in other cities and therefore my choice of this venue is a demonstration of my highest regard for devolution,” Wetangula said.
In his written speech the senator read out eleven main points that his government would address and consider if he takes over the top seat in the land through the mandate of Kenyans.
“Today we are here at the Masinde Muliro grounds in Kakamega, I have come before you humbly to accept to stand with my fellow Kenyans and my Ford Kenya party and the elders to vie for the seat of the president and I would like to assure you that I will represent you with respect and humility until we accomplish the dream of leading this country,”said Wetangula in his acceptance speech.
Raila skipped historic event as colleagues vow to remain united
Surprisingly ODM party leader and one of the three CORD co-principals Raila Amolo Odinga did not attend the Wetang’ula launch in Kakamega despite the fact that he had promised and confirmed that he will attend.
It was not clear as to why Raila did not appear at the venue even after his fellow principals Moses Wetangula and Kalonzo Musyoka of Wiper assured the crowd that Odinga was to join them shortly only for Kalonzo to later reveal that he had talked to the ODM leader who said that he had traveled to Mwanza in Tanzania but no details as to why he chose to travel instead attending a function that puts to test the unity in the main opposition coalition.
While speaking on the unity of the coalition Wetangula said that the coalition shall remain united ahead of the task of unveiling the flag-bearer in the next elections revealing that their colleague Raila Odinga had told them that he was on the way to join them with Kalonzo and many others who had already arrived.
“You know that in CORD we are three principals including myself, my brother Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka who is here with me and it is upon you there to decide on who shall be our flag-bearer whether its Weta, Kalonzo or Raila and we shall all support him,” Wetang’ula assured.
He further added that it was very dangerous for one to stand in the way of an idea whose time has come hence Wetangula’s time and idea has just come.
“As the wisemen said that let’s forget the past and forge ahead I am therefore urging you to forget all that we have gone through before accomplishing this day but I want to tell my brothers whose conducts has not been to our expectations that there is nothing more dangerous in life than standing in the way of an idea whose time has come and the time for Weta has come and it will be dangerous for you to stand on the way of an idea whose time has come,” said Wetangula famous known as Weta.
Kalonzo in his speech said that the unity in CORD should remain strong and also affirmed that he will support whoever shall be unveiled as the coalition’s flag-bearer and also expected his colleagues to also support him if he is the one to lead the coalition in the next general polls.
“AS CORD family we shall remain united and we are together with our colleagues in ODM and therefore let’s not accept the devil to divide us and I would like to assure you that if it is Weta who will be chosen as our flag-bearer I will give him my full support,” said Kalonzo.
Mombasa senator Omar Hassan also joined the two principals to assure the crowd that the coalition shall not split but urged them to support it and stop looking at the principals along tribal lines as they seek to lead the whole country.
“Kalonzo Musyoka who is the leader of Wiper democratic party of which I am the secretary general, I already announced him as the undisputed flag-bearer and today Wetangula has been unveiled as the flag-bearer of Ford Kenya and likewise ODM have Raila Odinga as their undisputed flag-bearer hence therefore when you vote for Kalonzo you are not voting for Kambas, when you vote for Weta as president you are not voting for the Luhya and neitherdo you vote for Luos when you vote for Raila Odinga but you are voting for the president of this country,” said Hassan.
Luhya elder Burudi Nabwera also challenged the CORD coalition to stop squabbling but instead come up with their flag-bearer who shall be supported to take over leadership in the next general elections.
Other leaders who were present included Kakamega senator Dr. Boni Khalwale, Nairobi governor Dr. Evans Kidero, other senators Henry Ole Ndiema of Trans Nzoia, Janet Ongera (Nominated ODM), Catherine Mukite (Nominated FK)Governor Patrick Khaemba of Trans Nzoia and MPs Wafula wamunyinyi(Kanduyi), Dr. Enock Kibunguchy (ODM Likuyani), Anami Lisamula (Shinyalu), Dr. Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini), Raphael Otalo (Lurambi) and Ferdinand Wanyonyi (Kwanza) among many others including MCAs.