, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 15 – Barely a month after Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula mended fences, the two leaders held another meeting on Wednesday, this time joined by Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader, Musalia Mudavadi.
Wamalwa tweeted that he was pleased to meet Wetangula and Mudavadi to deliberate on “a number of issues” among them a parliamentary report on sugar and Luhya unity.
Speaking shortly after the breakfast meeting at a Nairobi hotel, Wetangula declined to divulge further details to the press saying the forum discussed refusal by the National Assembly to adopt a report by the departmental committee on trade on the importation substandard sugar under a duty free window last year.
“We’ve recorded our disgust and disapproval of the despicable behaviour in the National Assembly when the committee report on sugar was being tabled,” the ex-Senate Minority leader said.
“We join those who have called for a serious inquiry into the conduct of members of the National Assembly and the alleged kickbacks they received to kill a very positive report,” he added.
Wetangula however said he was open to discussing political alliances with Wamalwa and Mudavadi at an appropriate time.
“As brothers we’re not limited in whatever we can discuss but that we shall leave for another day,” he said.
In his comments following the meeting, Mudavadi emphasized the need for an independent inquiry to unravel the circumstances under which the sugar report was rejected on Thursday last week amid bribery claims.
He decried the proliferation of contraband sugar in the country saying the influx of cheap imported sugar was strangling the local cane sector.
“We’re worried the livelihoods of millions of people have been seriously affected in the sugar sector. On average we’ve about 500,000 sugarcane farmers and you can imagine how many millions of people they support,” Mudavadi stated.
Wamalwa, Mudavadi, and Wetangula have been warming up to each other since the de-whipping of Wetangula from the Senate Minority leadership slot in March.
On July 20, Wetangula and Mudavadi formally ended their nine-year political enmity dating back to 2003 when they split the FORD-Kenya party over leadership wrangles after the death of then leader, former Vice President Michael Wamalwa.
Wamalwa then formed the New FORD-Kenya party leaving Wetangula with a faction of the mother party.
During the July 2o public meeting attended by among others vocal legislator Didmas Baraza (Kimilili, JP) and former cabinet minister Musikari Kombo, the two leaders jointly planted an indigenous tree pledging to work together at a ceremony witnessed by the Bukusu council of elders and religious leaders.
Baraza has been on record saying lawmakers received as little as Sh10,000 in bribes to reject the report on importation of substandard sugar some of which was found to contain traces of mercury and other metals.
In months leading to the Wamalwa-Wetangula unity agreement, the Bungoma Senator had vowed to lead a campaign to unite the Luhya community after falling out with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga following his ouster from Senate Minority leadership by mostly ODM Senators.
“My friend Raila must know I have nothing personal against him but my political partnership with him has ended. So you Luhya’s should not be shy when you’re told to unite so that we’re attractive to form political alliances with other communities,” the co-leader of the now disintegrating National Super Alliance (NASA) told a public rally in April.
“The cane Raila has used on me is the same he used on Michael Wamalwa who went on to become a Vice President, he did it to Kalonzo Musyoka who became Vice President, repeated it on William Ruto and he’s now the Deputy President. He’s caned me… I will even emerge better than his three previous victims.”
Wetangula made the remarks after a two-week timeline given to Minority Senators ostensibly to reconsider their move to replace him with Siaya Senator James Orengo (ODM) lapsed.