The“House of Mulembe”political leaders have been accused of being a stumbling block to the elusive Luhya unity by dividing residents for their selfish political interests.
And some of them have admitted that though the residents are united, leaders are guilty of fueling divisive politics that have denied the second largest community in the country a major stake in national leadership.
And in a bid to change course, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford-Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula have come up with a new formula to cement Luhya unity by merging their parties to form one strong national party.
The duo, who were key partners in the Raila Odinga-led National Super Alliance (Nasa), the main challenger to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party in last year’s poll, have vowed to collapse their political outfits into a single and formidable political vehicle for one of them to take a stab at the presidency in the 2022 General Election.
However, their move has been received with skepticism with some Western Kenya region top political players accusing Musalia and Wetang’ula of being the main stumbling block to Luyha unity and cannot, therefore, be trusted to spearhead the initiative.
But the duo have vowed to soldier on saying nothing will stop them from forging united front to push and realise the unity of the “House of Mulembe” and warned those who are being used by “outsiders” to divide the community that they will be rejected by the electorate. Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka has supported the move but asked leaders not to put their selfish interests first, adding that the community is behind efforts to unite to have high bargaining powers.
However, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has dismissed calls for Luhya unity saying the community is already united but it is the leaders who are divided. He said Western region voting pattern is a true indication that the people are united but their leaders are not.
Veteran politician Prof Julia Ojiambo said Wetang’ula and Mudavadi have a right to express their feelings about forming a coalition, whether it succeeds or not.
“What brings people together might not necessarily be politics because not all people from the region came out to vote in the last election. Uniting the Luhya community should be removed from politics”.