Luhya council of elders disown western presidential aspirants

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The elders walking after the briefing

Luhya council of elders have quashed the hopes of any presidential aspirant from the luhya community by stating that they are only supporting CORD coalition but not luhya leader.

The elders walking after the briefing
The elders walking after the briefing

While addressing journalists at a hotel in Bungoma town after a 3 day consultative meeting the elders led by the vice chair of the council Burudi Nabwera and other committee members the elders said that they are not supporting any luhya leader for the top most position in the country.

The elders said that they are in CORD because a majority of the residents of western belong to that coalition and for any leader from this region to get support from the luhya community must follow the people to the Cord coalition

The elders further added that no candidate from western has been endorsed to contend for the presidential seat in the upcoming general elections despite them supporting CORD and Bungoma senator Moses Wetangula being a CORD co-principal.

The elders during the press briefing
The elders during the press briefing

They warned ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi and Wetangula on deciding to go separately in the upcoming 2017 general elections as it would hand the jubilee government an easy win saying they need to work with other leaders from other regions to be able to meet the threshold of winning in at least 24 counties as per the constitution states.

“If you vie alone you might get votes from the western region which has 5 counties and a total of around 2 million voters living over 16 million voters from other region.” Nabwera said.

The luhya council of elders welcomed the president on his forthcoming tour of western Kenya but stated that it was wrong for the president to create an impression that he is coming to western Kenya counties to bring goodies yet they had not seen any till now.

Peter Adams Ludava reacting to questions posed by journalists
Peter Adams Ludava reacting to questions posed by journalists

They challenged the jubilee administration to name one project that they had done for the luhya community claiming that the money that was given to Mumias Sugar Company and Nzoia sugar were loans from the Kenya sugar board that need to be repaid.

Nabwera stated that coffee farmers have been given grants in central Kenya to revive the industry yet in western the companies were given grants calling upon parliament to come up with an amendment that will give the sugar companies grants so as to revive them fully

“The forum noted with a lot of concern that the jubilee government has been giving the impression that it is providing economic assistance to this region and has mentioned providing funding for Mumias sugar company and Nzoia sugar company to bail them out.

These loans cannot be compared to the money that has been spent to cushion coffee farmers in the Mount Kenya region. Andrew Okumu added. ”

Moves by the jubilee government to revive Pan African Paper industry were watered down by the elders saying that pan paper was now a private company owned by the Rai family and it was only going to benefit the family and not the region at large

They wondered why the government sold the factory at a throw away price of 900 million to the Rai group without even considering the employees who had not been paid challenging the government to pay the cumulated salaries of the employees of pan paper and also the land which the factory sits at that would have made it worth billions of Kenya shillings.

The luhya council of elders has a member representing the 18 sub tribes among the luhya ad in the briefing was Andrew Okumu representing the Abawanga sub tribe, Edward Charles Ohare representing the Abanyore sub tribe and Peter Ludava a member of the secretariat.