Tom Matabala. Weekly Citizen January 19-25, 2009 pg 7
As the Kibaki succession shapes up, and with the possibility of the Grand Coalition hitting the rocks before 2012, the Luhya community is approaching the succession in its characteristic style.
Leaders are going for each other’s jugular instead of forging some kind of strategy for a rightful share of the spoils. “If the Luhya politicians don’t watch out, they could end up carrying the crumbs in the Kibaki succession political matrix,” intones a senior politician tired with the ways things are going.
During the recent harambee to aid AFC Leopards at City Hall Nairobi, only Kshs. 700,000 was raised for the club that has returned to the Kenya Premier League. Surprisingly, the event was given a wide berth by Luhya MPs apart from Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa who gave Shs. 100,000.
Politically, many had thought that the return of the club into the league would galvanise all MPs from the region and they would attend. Whereas many are blaming the Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi for having failed to honour the function which Prime Minister Raila Odinga was to be the chief guest, those versed with the on goings at the club give two reasons why the function flopped.
First, the argue that currently the club is in the hands of nominated city council councilor Alex Ole Magelo as chairman. Ole Mangelo is a close confidant of PNU Chairman and Internal Security Minister Prof. George Saitoti.
In political circles, it is whispered Prof. Saitoti is using AFC Leopards to infiltrate the Western Province voting bloc.
Unconfirmed reports have it that during the national league that saw the club move to the premier league, Alex Ole Magelo and his friends used over Sh 12 million on transport, salaries and players allowances.
The Prof. Saitoti factor in AFC Leopards is said to be causing ripples among the Luhya legislators moreso having declared he will run for the presidency come 2012.
The question being asked is whether the mathematics professor decided to use the current club officials to achieve his goals in the region.
It is on these grounds many say that the Saitoti factor led to Prime Minister and his deputy to skip the function.
Second, we have those who claim that the majority of Luhya MPs skipped after learning that Odinga was to be chief guest. To them, the PM has a lot of respect for Mudavadi and has sidelined them.
Further, by virtue of Raila being a die-hard supporter of Gor Mahia, a rival club of AFC Leopards, he had nothing to do with the function.
It is worthy noting, as the AFC function flopped, Gor Mahia held one the following day at the same venue and had Sh 3 million raised with Raila giving a cool Sh 1.5 million while Mudavadi donated Sh 50,000 like he donated for Leopards. The KFF chairman gave Sh 170,000.
Political analysts say, if the community leaders have failed to help the club that unites all, then what is capable of bringing them together.
Whereas many will agree that Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo has spent a fortune on the club, the need to work on proper strategies is necessary for its survival.
To this effect, they want all Western MPs to attend the first AFC Leopards away game against Western Stima at Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega.
The prayer in the region is to have AFC Leopards unite them in the succession race.
(Article goes on with non AFC Leopards related matters)