A group of MPs led by Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale said the event to install Wetang’ula as the Western Kenya kingpin had been finalized and the venue had already been booked.
“We want to inform Kenyans that we have booked and paid for the venue (at Masinde Muliro Gardens) and police are aware of the rally,” Khalwale said.
The MPs mostly drawn from Ford Kenya said the party is a principal partner in Cord and, therefore, stands a principal chance to produce a presidential candidate.
“Cord has not nominated anyone as the presidential flag bearer for the coalition, I am not aware of anyone with a Cord ticket for presidency,” Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa (Ford Kenya) said.
Wamalwa salvo seemed directed to ODM MPs who have maintained Raila will remain thecoalition’s presidential candidate.
The MPs said Wetang’ula stands a similar chance of being president just like Raila Odinga “only that Odinga has a head start after he contested in previous general elections.”
Khalwale, who has declared interests in the Kakamega governor’s seat, said, “Raila did not get the majority of MPs and Senators in the region but only got majority of Presidential votes – 68%.”
Khalwale said Wetang’ula’s presidential bid launch in Kakamega was tactical.
“Wetangula and Raila stand a similar chance to be Cord flag bearer, who would have known that Donald Trump would be the candidate for the Republicans in the US?” Khalwale posed.
The MPs took issue with Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya who is also Raila’s point man in the region and accused him of panic after he opposed the launch in Kakamega. Oparanya prefers the function be held in Bungoma, Wetang’ula’s stronghold.
“It is Wetangula’s launch of Presidential bid and not Khalwales launch for governor, why is Oparanya scared,” Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa said.
“Oparanya should desist from the utterances he has been making opposing the launch,” Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi said.
Other MPs present during the press conference include Khatib Mwashetani (Lunga Lunga) Ferdinand Wanyonyi (Kwanza) Michael Onyura (Butula) Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren) Judith Sijeny (Nominated) and Suleiman Murunga (Kimilili).
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka also launched his presidential bid in Machakos late last year while Raila is yet to launch his in Nairobi.