Plans by Kakamega County Governor Wycliffe Oparanya to relinquish his position as the Lake Victoria Region Economic Bloc have been met by resistance from Busia County ODM chair Patrick Obongoya.
Obongoya has implored Governor Oparanya not to relinquish his seat now, a move he says will leave the 14 Counties, who are members of the bloc, without leadership following the death of its Deputy chair and former Bomet Governor Dr. Joyce Laboso.
“We know there are other able Governors from the fourteen-member Counties who can be chairpersons of the bloc but this needs time because as at now the seat of deputy chair is vacant following the death of Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso who was holding it.”
Obongoya who is also a nominated MCA in the Busia County assembly has expressed fears that if Oparanya resigns from the post, it will throw the bloc into a limbo and jeopardize development programs they agreed on including starting a regional bank. “Member Counties were asked to be contributing two hundred million shillings annually towards the regional bank project and if Oparanya relinquishes his post abruptly, it will adversely affect that project because it’s his brainchild.”
Apart from the far-reaching effects it will have on the economy of the bloc, Obongoya has also warned that it will affect Governor Oparanya’s future political career, “The bloc has more than five million people and if Oparanya quits the chairperson position then he will lose the trust of the people from these Counties who will find it hard to trust him with any political position now that he wants to be the president of Kenya come 2022.”
Days ago, Governor Oparanya said he will soon relinquish his position as the bloc’s chairperson so as to have time to serve his people of Kakamega, “For quite some time I have been busy chairing meetings in Nairobi and delegate duties to my deputy but soon I will relinquish the position so that I have enough time for my County people.”
The bloc includes Kakamega County, Kisumu, Bungoma, Vihiga, Trans Nzoia, Bomet, Kericho, Busia, Siaya, Homa Bay, Kisii, Nyamira, Migori and Nandi.
The bloc’s summit was to hold its 5th meeting at Bondo university in Siaya County from 5th to 8th August but it was called off at the eleventh hour due to the death of Joyce Laboso.