Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala has blamed Ford-Kenya deputy leader Boni Khalwale’s association with Deputy President William Ruto for weakening efforts to have the Luhya community rally under one party.
Speaking during a fund drive in Sabatia, Vihiga County, Mr Malala said by working with Mr Ruto, Dr Khalwale had undermined the plan to merge Ford-Kenya, led by Mr Moses Wetang’ula, and Amani National Congress (ANC), headed by Mr Musalia Mudavadi, ahead of the 2022 presidential poll.
“I support Luhya unity calls. I support the call to merge our parties into one party for the Luhya,” Mr Malala, who was representing Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka as the chief guest, said.
“A plan to merge ANC and Ford-Kenya into one party was underway. I was happy about it. Boni Khalwale and Barrack Muluka were picked to steer the process,” he said.
“We are disturbed that the plan has been scuttled after Khalwale joined William Ruto. We are now asking, is Ruto a Luhya? Is Jubilee the party that Khalwale had been asked to use to break ANC and Ford-Kenya?” he asked.
He warned Dr Khalwale to prepare to exit Luhya politics after failing to steer the community’s unity agenda.
But Chesumei MP Wilson Kogo, an ally of Mr Ruto who was present at the function, said an alliance between the Kalenjin and Luhya would clinch the presidency in 2022.
He urged Mr Mudavadi to unite the Luhya and consider a political union with Mr Ruto ahead of 2022.
“We, the Kalenjin, are already set and have a plan. The only Kalenjin leader we know is William Ruto. We are urging you, our brothers in western to unite behind Mudavadi and then we can engage politically ahead of 2022.
“This time the victory in 2022 is for the Luhya and Kalenjin to grab,” Mr Kogo said.
Mr Kogo hailed the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga, saying it had enabled leaders to unite and work together.
Other MPs present included Mr Godfrey Osotsi (Nominated), Mr Charles Gimose (Hamisi) and Mr Caleb Hamisi (Saboti).
Former Vihiga Woman Representative Dorcas Kedogo and a host of MCAs also attended and supported calls for Luhya unity.
The senator, also the Senate Deputy Minority Leader, said Dr Khalwale had decided to work with Mr Ruto to scuttle the much needed unity ahead of 2022.