Luhya spokesperson, chief political negotiator to be unveiled in Kakamega

The official Luhya community spokesman and chief political negotiator is set to be unveiled next month at Muliro Gardens in Kakamega County following months of survey by the University of Nairobi (UoN) on the preferred candidate.

Speaking in Nairobi when he received the report from lead researcher Dr Fred Jonyo, Central Organization of Trade Unions (Cotu) secretary General Francis Atwoli, who commissioned the study, said the spokesperson will be allowed to strike political deals with other communities.

Potential candidates for the position, Mr Atwoli said, include Cord co-principal and Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetang’ula, Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi and former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo. However, he added that even business people were considered except him.

“We do not need a spokesperson who will go out begging from others but a negotiator,” said Mr Atwoli who was accompanied by Western parliamentary group caucus chairman Sakwa Bunyasi among other leaders.

The trade unionist, however, said that the three still have an opportunity to agree on the potential candidate but insisted that the study report will be final.

Mr Atwoli said billions of shillings being poured in Western Kenya will not sway voters as he hit out at individuals who are rushing to Jubilee coalition to seek favours saying they are not representatives of the community.

“Those running around Western Kenya will not plan for our people at all. Such people are misplaced and are academic dwarfs. We will have our spokesperson and they can negotiate with him,” said Mr Atwoli who insisted that he was conducting the exercise as a Luhya elder and not as the Cotu boss.

He said MPs shifting allegiance were doing so on their own as they have not consulted the community.

According to him, the community will follow the direction the chosen spokesperson including joining either Jubilee or Cord depending on where the community interests will be catered for effectively.

NO POLITICAL INTEREST

Mr Atwoli insisted that he has no political interest and will not seek any position saying his interest is only to see a united luhya community.

“I do not want to be an MCA, governor, Senator or President. I only used to support KANU during my activism days but now I am serving workers,” said the Cotu boss.

He disclosed that in June he held talks with 24 MPs from Western Kenya and in September he met Mr Mudavadi, Mr Wetang’ula and Mr Jirongo to brief them about his plan.

“Luhyas are not divided; it is only that we have a leadership vacuum since the death of former vice president Wamalwa Kijana,” said the SG.

VERY INFLUENTIAL

Mr Atwoli said the country’s political architecture is based on tribe insisting that the Luhya community has a right to develop its own political route provided it is done positively saying that it is the norm around the world.

“We had leaders such as Masinde Muliro, Moses Mudamba and Wamalwa Kijana who united us. We now need another leader to take us forward,” he explained.

He said he will continue to build consensus among leaders from western Kenya arguing that he should be respected claiming he is the third most influential person in the country after President Uhuru Kenyatta and Cord leader Raila Odinga.

Dr Jonyo said the study was conducted professionally and the methodology and results will be made public next month.

Mr Bunyasi said it will be a new beginning for the region.

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