Calls for Luhya unity persist as Luhya leaders face daunting task

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Musalia Mudavadi, Eugene Wamalwa and Moses Wetangula during the 15th anniversary for late Wamalwa Kijana's memorial service
Musalia Mudavadi, Eugene Wamalwa and Moses Wetangula during the 15th anniversary for late Wamalwa Kijana's memorial service

The Mulembe nation waits to see if unity will be truly achieved or if political bickering will repeat itself as Western Kenya leaders once again spoke glowingly about Western Kenya unity. The narrative hasn’t been spoken of sparingly and addressing listeners at the late Wamalwa Kijana’s 15th memorial anniversary in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County, leading figures in the region’s political field called for the Luhya nation to march on a united front.

With observations already made that the community has time and time again failed to front one leader for the top seat, the leaders present seemed to indicate they are willing to shove their differences behind them. “When the late honourable Wamalwa passed away, he left the whole Luya region standing on the same political path,” said Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula. The Senator then outlined that the path of unity requires dedication and commitment, “This journey is not for the fainthearted, it’s not for those who want to look for the money or the box.” He struck a familiar note, given that its been perceived leaders from the region may be treated with pledges to swing their allegiance, leading to the conclusion that they don’t have a firm stand.

Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka denied ideas that some leaders didn’t want a united front, “There was a perception created that some of us didn’t want to walk together but we want to walk together for the benefit of the common mwananchi,” he said. He outlined that the leaders should run side by side cheering each other and the strongest will get the allotted positions accordingly.

The sentiment was supported by ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, who said the leaders need to walk together side by side so that the economy of the region can be transformed. A bright conception indeed revolves around establishing a common economic ground that will transform to a common political ground. As a region, the Counties can indeed come together as an economic bloc, given the predominant dependence on agriculture as a way of living and political ideas can be thrashed out in order. “We want to solidify our agenda, the economic one and the political one,” said Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong.

Many leaders present at the function called for unity, and stern action to be taken to revive sugarcane farming in the region. But it wasn’t all rosy, as signs of the cracks that easily appear and already sealed allegiances showed up. Sirisia MP John Wauke gave the leaders an ultimatum, saying the region’s support will be shifted elsewhere if they fail to sort the leadership issues, “These four leaders present here are capable, and they should drop their self-interests. But if they are unable, we will decide to go the Ruto way, along with DP Ruto,” he said.

At the moment, the political landscape is still in its infancy after last year’s general elections and talks about 2022 will change depending with occurrences and seasons. This gives ample time for Western Kenya leaders to come together and evade the taunts of being a shaky and gullible group of leaders who run after goodies, instead of agendas that will make them stand out as leaders, not merely politicians.