A dispute over State appointments is threatening to split a group of Luhya leaders fighting to upstage Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula as Western Kenya political supremos.
On Saturday, Orange Democratic Movement Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna, nominated senator Naomi Shiyonga, Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala and MP Godfrey Osotsi snubbed a meeting called by Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
The meeting was held to launch a group dubbed the Mulembe Youth Council.
Sifuna and Malala claimed CS Wamalwa and the five governors short-changed the youth after failing to forward their names to President Uhuru Kenyatta for appointment during a recent meeting with the Head of State.
The Mulembe Youth Council held its inaugural meeting at Senator Malala’s home in Kakamega where they vowed to engage the government directly.
The split within the camp comes slightly over a month after trade unionist Francis Atwoli named CS Wamalwa and Oparanya as Luhya spokesmen in a political move meant upstage Mudavadi and Wetangula.
Two weeks ago, Western Kenya governors met President Kenyatta and presented a list of development projects they wish completed and names of individuals to be appointed in government in rumoured changes.
But on Saturday, Sifuna faulted the list saying that it was not inclusive and had left out the youth.
“The old guards have no respect for youth. Nothing about us without us. It cannot be that the President requests 15 names for appointment and no youth is floated,” said Sifuna, warning that Western governors cannot be entrusted with promoting the region’s youth agenda.
Malala claimed that Luhya unity remains elusive because of the old guard’s greed, and vowed to harness the power of the Mulembe youth to earn a seat at the table.