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Western leaders raise stakes in sugar row, vow new stance

George Kebaso @Morarak

Top western Kenya leadership are demanding the prosecution of former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and freezing of assets he accrued while serving as Mumias Sugar Company managing director.

  Devolution Cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula, Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, two governors and more than 30 MPs decried a trend they claim has seen the community losing key positions in government since the March 9 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

  They said only two or three communities were benefitting from the handshake.

The leaders vowed to fight to the bitter end to find solutions to the problems facing the sugar sector, especially in western Kenya belt, a situation subjecting communities from the five counties to poverty.

  “We are ready to go against our respective political stands to defend our people since the failure in the sugar sector has affected the economy of our region and people are using this for political mileage,” the leaders told journalists, pointing at a major declaration at the 15th anniversary of the death of former Vice President Michael Wamalwa.

  They cautioned those threatening to strip Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali of his position as Majority Whip in the National Assembly.

The leaders endorsed a detailed common stand to be announced during tomorrow’s function in Kitale, which partly calls for the Luhya political unity.

  “On Thursday, we will make a clear announcement that we mean business, and that working for others and letting others work with us requires unity of purpose of the community,” said Wetang’ula.

  Wamalwa and Wetang’ula who spoke to People Daily, expressed concern about the fiasco in the sugar sector. 

  “We are warning those who are celebrating that this issue is over because of the fiasco recently witnessed in Parliament to brace for a shocker. We are confident that by applying the law on going to the bottom of this matter, justice will prevail,” said Wamalwa.

  The CS said leaders from the region had called on the President to consider their proposals for the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into the scandal.   

  They said tomorrow’s meeting in Kitale will define the community’s unity and one voice in a number of issues including its political stand.

  “We met here today (yesterday) as the Western Kenya region family and have agreed to form a team to put together a position paper on the challenges facing the community. We have also agreed to continue championing the inquiry on the matter of our sugar because it is the economic backbone of our people,” said Wamalwa.

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