OKA co-principals take 2022 vote-hunt mission to Western
One Kenya Alliance principals are today expected to hold a series of meetings in Western Kenya in a vote-hunting mission ahead of the 2022 General-Election.
Although pundits have argued that the race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta will be a two-horse race, OKA allies have rubbished the notion and expressed confidence that their candidate will carry the day come August 9, 2022.
Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetangula of Ford Kenya and Kanu’s Gideon Moi will pitch tent in the vote-rich Western basket to reassure their supporters that they are still in the race amid jitters on their commitment to front a presidential candidate in next year’s election.
Leaders will first have a joint meeting of delegates from the ANC, Ford-K, Wiper and Kanu parties in what organisers described as a campaign strategy at the Golf Hotel in Kakamega before hitting the road for a series of rallies.
The meeting is expected to give the delegates an insight into the OKA campaign plan and ralies and help restore confidence that the alliance is firmly still in the race to State House.
Principals will then proceed on a whistle-stop-meet-the-people tour of Kakamega and Vihiga counties.
They will tour Kakamega town and Khayega market before heading to Chavakali market, Emuhaya and Luanda townships in Vihiga.
Campaign routes are similar to the ones taken by ODM leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto in their recent tours of the regions.
Mudavadi’s return to his Western home turf for a series of vote-hunting meets is perceived as cementing his authority that whoever wants the Luhya votes must contend with him first.
The OKA brigade will be seeking to reclaim any piece of the region’s pie that may have been taken away by his opponents after forays by Ruto and Raila.
ANC boss is expected to fight to secure the region’s two million votes while rallying eligible Kenyans to register as voters, even as the clock ticks towards the end of the Mass Voter Registration.
Yesterday, Mudavadi’s allies said that all was set for the public and town hall meetings.
Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malalah, who has been tasked to mobilise for the meets, last evening told People Daily that the strategy meeting would mark the roll-out of an eight-week high-octane national campaign blitz by OKA that will culminate in the unveiling of the alliance presidential candidate.
“We have put in place measures to ensure the meetings are a success. We are going to crush our opponents and ensure our Luhya community and entire Western region vote for their son to a man next year,” he said.
Malalah at the same time acknowledged the absence of OKA from serious political campaign trail but said the principals were meeting, planning, strategising and mobilising resources before they mount their public rallies.
“Our supporters will not have any doubt about whom we want to lead Kenya in the next eight weeks.
We shall straddle and shake all the corners of this country and confirm to you that ours is not a horse but a Trojan horse,” Malalah said.
“We want to chatt a new form for OKA and put in place structures that will help strengthen this alliance.
We will have a major rally in Kakamega town before proceeding to Khayega to wrap up Friday,” he added.
Kakamega county ANC chair Titus Khamala said they were ready to welcome their leader.
The Lurambi MP said Mudavadi and his team would take their campaigns to Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma, Busia and Trans Nzoia counties.
Raila was in Kakamega and Vihiga two weeks ago while Ruto was back in Kakamega and Busia last weekend.
Mudavadi has been facing rising resistance from a section of locals leaders.
Governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Wilber Ottichilo (Vihiga), Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia) and Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma), Central Organisation of Trade Union Secretary-General Francis Atwoli and Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa are backing Raila’s presidential bid.
However, MPs Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East), Mwambu Mabonga (Bumula), Didmus Barasa (Kiminini), Majimbo Kalasinga (Kabuchai) and former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale are the DP’s main stalwarts in the region.
However, Mudavadi backers laughed off the declaration and said their opponents were “day-dreaming.”
“Mudavadi is the de facto leader of the Luhya community and nobody can dispute that,” said Khwisero MP Christopher Aseka. Reporting by Rawlings Otieno, Dennis Lumiti and Douglas Dindi