As the uncertainty over who shall fly the CORD presidential flag in next year’s general elections continues to deepen in the coalition, the Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetangula and his allies have insisted that the ODM party leader Raila Odinga should support Wetangula for his first attempt at the presidency.
Speaking at the funeral of Mama Mariah Khisa Keya of Kimabole village in Sirisia constituency, Wetangula claimed that the formerly Western province which was dominated by the Luhya community supported Raila’s unsuccessful presidential quest twice and therefore expected him to reciprocate.
He added that the move by the Luhya Nation was one of good will and equated it to someone who scratches his lover’s back and therefore expects that the lover will reciprocate when he or she feels that they should be scratched but not to be told to scratch on a wall.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Wetangula’s close ally and MP for Kiminini Dr. Chris Wamalwa, who said that Raila should reciprocate the overwhelming support that he and his late father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga have enjoyed from the region.
Wetangula, Wamalwa and other Ford Kenya leaders used the platform to urge leaders from other parties including governor Lusaka, Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba and Funyula’s Dr. Paul Otwoma who are quitting ODM to join Ford Kenya in the bid to ensure that it remains the main political party in Western region.
“The leaders who had earlier on left the party including Dr. Boni Khalwale are now coming back to Ford Kenya. We are holding talks with Otwoma requesting him to join the party and likewise, we call upon Ababu to also come back home so that sweep all the seats right from the MCA, MP, Governor, Senator and the President on a FORD Kenya ticket,” said the outspoken legislator.
However, other leaders who spoke at the funeral who are inclined to the ruling coalition including Governor Ken Lusaka and Sirisia MP John Waluke who was elected on an ODM ticket urged the people of Western region to support and work with the government of the day in order to achieve the desired development.
Lusaka further cautioned other politicians especially those who are aspiring for elective seats in the next general elections to shun dirty politics of maligning and insulting others in the name of campaigns.
Waluke on his side said that he has no problem supporting Wetangula for the seat of president on condition that he is the one fronted by the CORD coalition to vie for the seat in the elections.
Among other leaders who attended the funeral included Kimilili MP Suleiman Murunga, nominated senator Catherine Mukite, nominated MP Patrick Wangamati, former Kanduyi MP Alfred Khangati an aspirant of the Bungoma gubernatorial seat and other aspirants for different elective seats especially the woman representative seat among others.
Late Mama Mariah was a matriarch
Family members, relatives, leaders and the entire community of Kimabole and Sirisia constituency eulogized the late Mama Maria as a matriarch who led an exemplary life and became a role model as she brought up her family.
Lady Justice Ruth Nekoye Sitati, who is the daughter to the late Mama Maria, recalled how her mother was generous and welcoming to all and sundry.
“My mother was so generous. We always wondered why she is giving everything to people to a point that we were almost left with nothing but she always told us that this house has enough to share with others” said the judge as she addressed the mourners.
She further recalled how her mother was such a disciplinarian who entertained no nonsense and taught them the necessary things in life.
Maria’s son Elphas Wesangula remembered his late mother as a pottery entrepreneur who excelled well in businesses, a skill that that enabled both his parents to educate them despite having not attended any business administration course as it is these days.
Other friends and relatives who attended the funeral included a host of judges and magistrates led by Lady Justice Roseline Nambuye who praised the late woman for having embraced polygamy with no jealousy and ill feelings such that she stayed with her co-wife as sisters, brought up their children with no frictions and co-existed harmoniously.
Among the children who survived through Mama Maria include engineer Robert Malaba Keya who is also aspiring to vie for the Sirisia parliamentary seat on a Ford Kenya ticket, Kenya Secondary schools heads association – KESSHA chair Bungoma county Richard Sabwami Keya and many others holding prominent positions in the society