Malalah trashes Atwoli installation as Luhya political negotiator
Douglas Dindi and Dennis Lumiti
Kakamega senator Cleophas Malalah has scoffed at the weekend installation of the Central Organisation of Trade Union (Cotu) secretary general Francis Atwoli as the lead Luhya political negotiator in the 2022 jigsaw.
In a rejoinder shortly after a statement announcing the choice of Atwoli to coordinate political negotiations with ODM leader Raila Odinga for a stake in the next government, Malalah said Atwoli is not a trustee of Western Kenya vote.
Malalah said ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi remains the ultimate choice of Kenyans in the 2022 political chase, adding the party presidential bid is not negotiable outside the Okoa Kenya Alliance (OKA) framework.
“I want to tell the governors and their supporters who were hosted by Atwoli at the Golf Hotel and appointed him as the Luhya spokesman that if you are not a presidential candidate, you have no business meddling in political negotiation,” Malalah said.
Malalah said ANC expects 100 per cent support from western region to rally behind Mudavadi in the high stakes negotiation within the OKA framework and would not hesitate to deal with individuals threatening to sway the region’s chance to produce the fifth president.
On Sunday, governors Wycliffe Oparanya, Wycliffe Wangamati, Wilber Otichillo and Sospeter Ojaamong joined a host of rebel Ford-Kenya MPs Dr Eseli Simiyu, Wafula Wamunyinyi and ODM MPs from the western in endorsing Atwoli, to coordinate negotiations for the Luhya stake in the next government.
A resolution of the meeting read by Otichillo declared that the region shall strive to be part of the next government.
Atwoli was also given express mandate to enter into immediate negotiations with the leading presidential contender in the handshake team (Raila Odinga) before the close of the year for a stake in his government.
The group promised to set in motion strategies to raise funds to boost campaigns of their preferred candidate and warned it will not be kind with any leader opposed to their course.
The statement added that Luhya community will speak in one voice and will not entertain leaders with divergent political views on forming the next government.
The weekend declaration came against a widening rift between Raila and his former political allies - Kalonzo Musyoka, Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula who have shown reluctance to support Raila’s fifth stab at the presidency.
The trio alongside Kanu chairman Gideon Moi have remained resolute against attempts by President Uhuru Kenyatta to unite the opposition leaders, behind one candidate to face DP William Ruto in 2022 contest.
Separately, Mudavadi’s allies also urged Luhyas to stick with the ANC supremo and ignore reports that he had been dethroned as the community’s spokesman.