Lugari MP Ayub Savula and former Nairobi Town Clerk Philip Kisia have expressed their desire to see the Luhya community rallying behind a central figure ahead of the 2022 elections. Speaking to Anne Kiguta on 12th July 2020 when they appeared on K24 TV’s Punchline show, the two politicians also expressed confidence in Francis Atwoli, who is currently serving as the Secretary General of COTU, as an ideal political patron in the quest to achieve Luhya unity.
”In my opinion, Atwoli is rightly placed to unite the Western region, including the Sabaots because he has no (direct) interest in elective politics. He is not interested in becoming an MCA, an MP, a Senator, a Governor, a Deputy President or the President. Because of this, he does not attract a fight around him. But if you put there a person like Musalia Mudavadi, he will attract a fight from Governor Oparanya. If you put Wetangula, he will attract a fight from Eugene Wamalwa or the Bungoma Governor. However, if you say that Atwoli is the regional political patron, you will avoid such fights”, intimated Savula.
”Francis Atwoli is better placed to propagate this (unity) process. He has no direct interest in the outcome like the others. But as time passes by, I’m sure Luhya leaders will be able to deliver one of them to provide leadership which will represent them on the bargaining table”, said Kisia.
The concept of Luhya unity has always been termed elusive in political circles, with previous attempts by Luhya leaders to rally the community around a central figure often proving unsuccessful. In 2013, Musalia Mudavadi ran for the Presidency but failed to gunner overwhelming support from his backyard. However, Philip Kisia disagreed with this sentiment, ”There is nothing to stop this community from voting as a bloc. It’s just that the person who will get the votes has not been identified. All these fellows will collapse into one basket and will deliver the vote”. He went on to say ”…all communities coalesce around one person. Central region has its own person, the Luo have their person. There is nothing unique with the Luhyas identifying one person to provide leadership”.
The Lugari MP also expressed support for the BBI process, saying that the outcome would remove the winner-take-it all system and make politics more inclusive. Philip Kisia also indicated that he intends to run for Nairobi Governor in the next election.