Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale and former Governor Wycliffe Oparanya-bitter political enemies, have buried the hatchet in preparation for the 2027 General Election.
Mr Oparanya said he has agreed to support Dr Khalwale’s ambition to run for the county’s governor seat in 2027, while the senator promised to support the former governor’s quest for any seat he may seek.
Mr Oparanya and Dr Khalwale served the devolved unit between 2013 and 2017 as governor and senator, respectively.
They disagreed on several occasions, but on Sunday, Mr Oparanya confessed that Dr Khalwale put him ‘under intense pressure’, which he appreciated as it helped to deliver development projects across the county.
In the 2022 General Election, Mr Oparanya supported the current Governor Fernandes Barasa. He played a key role in persuading ODM party to give Mr Barasa a direct ticket- attracting protests from other aspirants who included former Deputy Governor Philip Kutima and former Shinyalu MP Justus Mugali.
But the new-found friendship between Mr Oparanya and Mr Barasa did not last long, after the latter won the seat. Insiders claimed that Mr Barasa rejected a proposal by Mr Oparanya to give him a number of jobs at the county government, leading to the bad blood.
Mr Oparanya has been attending public functions in the company of the county Woman Rep Elsie Muhanda, a move that seems to have created a rift between Mr Barasa and Ms Muhanda, who is believed to also warming up to dethrone Mr Barasa.
“I was elected to Parliament in 2002 together with Dr Khalwale and we formed the first Kakamega County Government, but we never sat together for more than five hours. But today, we had a consultative meeting and I realised that Dr Khalwale is a gentleman. I never knew that over the years,” said Mr Oparanya.
Dr Khalwale was accompanied to Mr Oparanya’s Mabole home for the meeting by a delegation of elders from Isukha and Idakho communities.
“I thank the former governor for agreeing to receive me at his home. I requested this meeting and he accepted,” said Dr Khalwale.
Dr Khalwale said their meeting signals the beginning of the grand search for new leadership for Kakamega County.
“I visited President William Ruto and shared my aspirations with him and he gave me his blessing. Today, I shared the same with my brother who is the most senior politician in Kakamega and he also promised me his support. Together we will reach out to other shades of leadership in Kakamega to share our resolve with them,” stated Dr Khalwale.
The newfound alliance will, if it lasts, create further reverberations in the county that strongly supports ODM party.
It could also put ODM boss Raila Odinga at the crossroads as he may have to make a choice between Mr Oparanya’s choice (Dr Khalwale) or stick with party candidate-Mr Barasa.dalanews.co.ke https://g.page/r/CerTmAWCtzj4EBM/review ¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬ÿÛ C