Urge residents to register as voters – elders
Wangamati says leaders not aggressive in their quest to produce a President
Luhya leaders are not committed to capturing the country’s top seat, elders have said.
Luhya Council of Elders chairman Patrick Wangamati said the leaders from the community are not dedicated and aggressive enough in their quest to produce a President, despite having three hopefuls in the race.
He spoke at Mabanga Farmers Training Centre, Kanduyi subcounty, on Wednesday during the first Bukusu Council of Elders conference.
The event brought together elders from Bungoma, Trans Nzoia and Kakamega counties.
Luhya politicians who have declared interest in the presidency are Ford Kenya leader and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula, former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo and ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi.
The leaders have on many occasions asked other regions that have always been supported by the Luhyas to return the favour in next year’s election.
Wangamati, who is a Ford Kenya nominated MP, said it is embarrassing that Luhya leaders only engage in retrogressive politics, witch-hunting, malice, mudslinging and chest-thumping on who should run for president. He said they should instead encourage residents to register as voters.
“We have a minimal number of registered voters, yet we are still chest-thumping on who is better than the other. What magic are we going to use without registered voters?” he asked. “If we cannot get our people to register as voters, then we are not serious.”
Wangamati said Western, which has a population of four million, only listed 1.6 million in this year’s mass voter registration. “How can we be talking about presidential ambitions and blaming other communities like the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin whose leaders have made a good initiative of registering all their people?” he asked.
Wangamati said Cord leader Raila Odinga is aggressive, but his community has fewer numbers compared to the Luhya. “Luos are few. They are not as many as Kalenjins, but if we were aggressive like them and registered our people in large numbers, we would stand a better chance to take over the leadership of this country,” he said.
Those who attended the event were Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba, East and Central King of Abamasaba Umuukuka Bob Mushikomari, former Anglican Church Archbishop Eliud Wabukala and Bungoma Culture executive Grace Khayota.
In August Mudavadi, Wetang’ula and Jirongo agreed to hold joint rallies to present a single candidate in 2017. Representatives of ANC, Ford Kenya and UDP said they had been meeting in Nairobi to agree on how to unite the region and restore its political honour.
Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli said he will unveil a presidential candidate for the Luhya community in Kakamega. He said they will negotiate with other friendly communities for a deal putting the community in a better position to seek the country’s leadership.
“Those who do not seeing what we’re doing will be surprised the Luhya community can vote for one candidate,” he said.