Opposition party Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) is a proud outfit after garnering massive support from Bungoma County.
In the last elections, Bungoma county overwhelmingly voted for Kenya Kwanza with its Governor, Ken Lusaka, being fronted by KK affiliate Ford-Kenya led by National Speaker Moses Wetang’ula.
In the past elections, Bungoma has been voting alongside other Western Kenya regions in favour of Raila Odinga after the death of former Vice President Kijana Wamalwa.
And on January 17, the once vibrant party that was almost eclipsed by Kenya Kwanza was roaring again with Westlands MP Tim Wanyonyi leading the charges.
One of the best harvests was Wanyonyi’s brother, Fred Wetang’ula, who publicly joined the ODM party, and declared total support for Wanyonyi’s bid for Nairobi governor and party leader Raila Odinga.
In his speech, Fred said that he was an adult capable of making his own independent decisions and he had decided not to follow their elder brother, Moses Wetang’ula in favour of Tim Wanyonyi and the ODM party.
“Moses (Wetang’ula) is our patriarch, Yes. But where have taken him, he doesn’t need our support again. Where we are now, it’s Tim’s time and he is the one we are supporting,” he said amid cheers of support from the crowd.
“I am not here to betray anybody. I am above 50 years, I make my decision on my own,” Fred declared.
He was received by Raila Odinga and handed ODM branded cap as symbolic gesture of joining the ODM.
Some critics have in the past criticised Wanyonyi for being the only one in ODM yet his siblings were in the other party.
Speaking at the event in Bungoma town, Tim Wanyonyi pledged his support for ODM and the party leader, insisting he was committed to seeing the party become the largest in Bungoma and the entire Western region.
“We want to retain the identity of ODM. Don’t be afraid. Identify yourself as ODM even you are the last man standing. Be brave,” he said as he rallied residents behind the ODM party.
He urged the locals to always support ODM candidates for better representation.
Speaker after speaker including deputy party leader and former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, SG and Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna and Minority leader Opiyo Wandayi heaped praises on Tim Wanyonyi commending his steadfast support for the party.
Oparanya led the top party leaders in drumming up support for Tim Wanyonyi’s Nairobi gubernatorial bid saying he was ripe for the seat.
On his part, Raila Odinga said he was impressed with Tim Wanyonyi and admired his leadership and reiterated his support for the Westlands MP.
At the same time, he narrated his close friendship with Luhya leaders including Kijana Wamalwa among others.
He implored on the region to support the ODM and Azimio its mission to liberate the country and drive it into economic emancipation.