Written by John Kabaka and Joseph Amunya Otieno
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Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi appeared to give up on courting political rivals Eugene Wamalwa and Cyrus Jirongo to support his presidential ambition when he declared that the battle for regional political supremacy should be solved by voters in the area.
Mudavadi said it was the right of everyone to pursue their political ambitions but voters will have the final say on who to invest their political future.
Without mentioning any names, Mudavadi said Voters should scrutinize each candidate and decide who has realistic chances of winning the statehouse job.
Addressing a congregation of clergymen at the Cornerstone Church in Kakamega County, the DPM noted that Central region has always led in the number of presidential candidates at all the general elections held since the advent of multiparty democracy in the country but voters in the area have the final decision on their leader.
Mudavadi also dismissed as unrealistic opinion poll results released early this week by pollster InfoTrac that showed Prime Minister Raila Odinga would win the presidential elections were elections to be called at the moment.
“How is it possible that someone who has lost considerable ground in central, Rift valley, Western and Eastern regions still be leading the opinion polls. The opinion polls have their financiers keen to use the figures to distract supporters of political opponents”, he said.
Mudavadi said his focus was to win the presidential race during the first round to save the country the rigours and tension that would arise in the event of a run off.
“The 50 percent plus one vote requirement and 25 percent vote in at least half the counties is within my reach,” he remarked.
He said he has the vision and mission to reconcile and heal the nation ravaged by negative ethnicity adding the Presidency would give him a perfect opportunity to unite Kenyans.
Meanwhile Mudavadi has asked clergymen in the area to take a leading role in conducting serious voter civic education in their churches to improve the voter turnout in elections in the area.
Mudavadi said the voter turnout at elections in the area, placed at 50 percent, was too low and made mockery of the high population numbers of the Luhya community.
He urged the church to educate their congregation on the virtues of registering and voting at polls if the area is to be taken seriously.
The Kakamega County UDF deputy coordinator Mr. Edward Wambani addressing the party supporters during the Lugari branch election held at Lumakanda cooperative house. [PHOTO|Joseph Amunya Otieno|West Fm]
Elsewhere, after weeks of constant leadership wrangles, the United Democratic Front (UDF) has finally settled on interim office bearers for Lugari branch.
During branch elections held at Lumakanda Cooperatives House, party members elected Mr. Godfrey Minodi as the branch’s chairperson while Mr. James Nalika was voted in as General Secretary.
The elections which were supervised by UDF’s Kakamega County Regional Coordinator Mr. Edward Omung’ala and his deputy Mr. Edward Wambani also saw Mr. Luka Kakai being elected as the branch treasurer.
The election exercise, however, failed to take off at 10am as had been scheduled due to misunderstandings among party members on criteria to be used, but nevertheless proceeded on well and peacefully later in the afternoon.
However, a section of party members mostly from Lumakanda ward boycotted the exercise citing election irregularities and what they termed as infiltration of moles planted by enemies of Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi in order to weaken his presidential ambition in the area.
Speaking to West FM, Mr. Boaz Odemu, a member of the party from Lumakanda warned that the party risked taking off on a wrong footing at the grassroots unless the national office quickly moved in to tame individuals purporting to be party members, yet were moles working for external forces.
“Issues raised by members from Lumakanda ward are genuine. What happened yesterday was total sham because we simply allowed outsiders with questionable motives hijack the party. It beats logic when party members elect into office individuals who in first place have not registered as party members, individuals who are still clinging on membership cards for other parties,” said Odemu.
The UDF newly elected Lugari branch chairman Mr. Godffrey Minodi.
But in his acceptance speech, Mr. Minodi who hails from Mautuma ward thanked party members who participated in the exercise for electing him a second time even after the first list was rejected due to controversies raised by disgruntled losers.
He promised to put in place strong structures in order to popularize the party in the region and at the same time urged party winners and losers in yesterday’s election exercise to forget their differences, unite and work as a solid team.
He urged residents living in western province to shun politics of tribes, a thing that he pointed out was dividing Luhya community and working against Mudavadi’s efforts to unite electorate in the region.
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