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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Direction Of Luhya Vote Could Decide Elections

The Luhya community have spoken in one voice and have sent a chilling message to Raila Odinga's ODM. Nominate Musalia Mudvadi as the ODM presidential candidate or the community will have to rethink where to pour their support.

Why such cockiness? And why now?

Unknown to most Kenyans, those who do tribal arithmetic regularly are now saying that the current sums minus the Luhya community put president Kibaki and Raila Odinga on a head to head level with no clear winner and it is in fact too close to call.

For all intents and purposes, it seems highly unlikely that ODM-Kenya, Kalonzo Musyoka and his Kamba community (the 5th largest community according to Moi's highly suspect census figures) will team up with the original ODM. In fact Mr Musyoka has really been warming up to Kanu in recent weeks. This is in fact a great loss to ODM, although there are those analysts who insist that it was obvious that Kalonzo was not going to remain in ODM and that it is equally obvious that Raila Odinga will be the ODM candidate for president short of which his own supporters could easily lynch him if he suggests anything less. One can't help wondering what will happen if Raila loses the presidential elections to President Kibaki or another candidate.

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This development has suddenly made it crucial for both leading candidates to ensure that they get the Luhya vote. It is no accident that President Kibaki recently toured Western Kenya—the geographical habitation of the Luhya. Raila's strategists are also said to be burning the midnight oil looking for ways and means to clinch the Luhya vote.

Actually I is also important to note that getting the entire Luhya vote as a block is impossible because even if Musalia were to be declared the presidential candidate today, it is highly unlikely that Musikari Kombo's Bukusu will vote for him. That is how explosive Luhya politics is. And that is why it is easier to understand it all when you realize that there is no such tribe as the Luhya tribe. This was simply the administrative name coined by the colonialists to describe the numerous different tribes that they had grouped together for administrative purposes. True there are many similarities between the tribes, but there are also many irreconcilable differences.

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1 comment:

kt said...

Could you point me in a direction where I can find out more information about the Luhya tribe's "irreconcilable differences"?
kmclogg@gmail.com

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