Two Ford-K faction leaders warm up in Raila, promise new outfit
A decision by the Ford Kenya faction led by Tonga MP Eseli Simiyu to withdraw from the party has stirred up tongues.
The announcement by Dr Eseli and Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi that they had decided to throw in the towel surprised supporters and other Western political actors.
Both said they would unveil a new political party on December 14 after abandoning Ford Kenya.
âIt looks like Senator Moses Wetang’ula is determined to do whatever he wants with hook or crook. We decided to leave it with the party and embark on a new journey. We urge our loyal members to keep calm as we will be unveiling a new outfit soon, âWamunyinyi said. Sunday Sunday on the phone yesterday.
“It is a party that will not only provide a wider democratic space for Kenyans, but will also strive to unite the region before 2022 and come together with Azimio la Umoja’s rallying call,” Wamunyinyi said.
Political commentators argue that the move could be part of a broad plan by ODM chief Raila Odinga to penetrate and tighten his grip on the voice-rich Western bloc.
According to Barrack Muluka, a political analyst, Wamunyinyi and Eseli could collaborate with the ODM leader.
He warned Wamunyinyi and Eseli that they risk being rejected by voters in advancing the plan.
âTheir new party will not fly and they could just sign their political death warrant pushing this agenda; they will find it difficult to keep their seats, âhe said.
Muluka said Ford Kenya and the ANC were the parties to beat in Western.
Leaders pushing Raila’s agenda in the West include Defense Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, former Minister Mukhisa Kituyi, Governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia), Wilbur Ottichilo (Vihiga) and Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma).
Wamunyinyi confirmed that they will enter into an alliance with ODM and other like-minded parties.
“We will not go there to negotiate for our own interests but for the people we represent unlike other leaders in this region who are busy defending their selfish interests wherever they go,” he said.
âThere is no important link between us and Raila, but we share the same aspirations and the same vision for Kenya. We want a peaceful and united country and that is why we support Azimio la Umoja, âsaid Wamunyinyi.
The leaders said their new party, which they failed to name, would push for a fair distribution of resources.
âWe are not coming to cause divisions, but seek unity of purpose in the West and among all Kenyans. We will present candidates for all elective seats in 2022, âsaid Wamunyinyi.
Governor Oparanya rejected the presidential candidacy of ANC leader Musalia Muvadadi, saying the former vice president lacked the capacity to mount a serious presidential campaign to win.
According to Oparanya, Raila enjoys enormous support in its traditional strongholds, including in the West.
“We are not looking for a regional president, it is not enough for him (Mudavadi) to campaign in Kakamega, Vihiga and Bungoma and hope to win,” Oparanya said.
The ODM is courting the two leaders as part of a strategy to penetrate and strengthen the membership in Bungoma County, where the party has performed dismally in previous elections.
In 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta won 63,191 votes in Kakamega, up from 12,469 in 2013. Raila won 481,118 votes, up from 303,120 in 2013.
In Bungoma, the ODM did not win any parliamentary seats, Ford Kenya, Jubilee and ANC sharing all the positions.
Western ANC lawmakers have warned Mudavadi not to work with Raila and Vice President William Ruto.
Lugari MP Ayub Savula said Mudavadi should not dare to enter into a political agreement with Ruto “because we will not be part of such an agreement”.
Senator Kakamega, Cleophas Malala, said Mudavadi should ignore Raila’s overtures and continue.
Yesterday, Eseli said they chose to chart a different political course than Ford Kenya.
âI have to warn Wetang’ula that whatever he has done at Ford Kenya will catch up with him at some point,â he said.
Quarrels rocked Ford Kenya around August 2020 when disgruntled party leaders started pushing for the party’s reorganization.
The feud between the two factions threatened to be decisive for the leader of the Wetangu’la party, who risked being overthrown.