By TIMOTHY MBAYA
The Kuria community in Migori County have vowed to use the handshake between Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga to push for their own county.
A section of leaders from the minority tribe in the county meeting at Kebaroti Catholic church on Sunday said they would seek Odinga’s blessings through a delegation from the region.
The meeting resolved to have the delegation comprising of community elders and leaders to meet the Orange Democratic Movement’s party leaders as an elder in the region.
This was after ODM nominated Member of Parliament on Dennitah Ghati urged the community to bank on Odinga since he was the father of devolution and a kingpin in the area.
“We have faith as a community that Raila will be our voice in getting the new county, already elders from the community will meet the leader through senator Ochillo Ayacko,” Ghati said.
Kuria East MP Marwa Kitayama on Jubilee ticket affirming his support for his party leader President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto said he was ready to honor the people’s wish.
“Who am I to go against the wish of my people? If dialogue is what will see us get a county then so be it but let it be clear that the ‘father’ I recognize is Uhuru Kenyatta,” Kitayama said.
The two leaders also said Ekuru Aukot’s ‘Punguza Mizigo’ had no space in Kuria but said they waiting for the report by the Building Bridges Initiative.
“Here in Kuria we have seen no load that needs offloading. In fact we need more loads so that the region can develop and be at par with other regions,” said Kitayama.
He added, “In last referendum Kuria was denied a county because the district was formed in 1993, and not 1990 as required by law. We will close ranks to have our county in the forthcoming referendum,” the Kuria East MP said.
“We have gone through the Punguza Mzigo initiative and as a community we have all hope on the handshake push for referendum,” said Ghati.
Migori Senator Ochillo Ayacko wondered why the community had taken so long to form a delegation to meet his party leader.
“Raila is a respected leader in this region who is working closely with President Kenyatta and a delegation from the community ought to have been sent to the two leaders by now,” said Ayacko.
Elder Matiko Bohoko, chairman of former Kuria councilors Samuel Marwa and the second Kuria legislator from 1974-79 Samson Nyagakende said as a community they already sent their proposal to the BBI team led by senator Yusuf Haji.
The three said they have worked out a declaration which they will issue through Senator Ayacko to plan the delegation meeting with Raila.
“We are lobbying as the Kuria community and will whip all leaders and opinion shapers in one direction,” said Nyagakende.
Bohoko pointed out exclusivity as the main reason the community was fighting for their county.
“We have the numbers in population to make up our own county and had the municipalities which we prudently managed, we area ready for our own county,” Bohoko said.