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Atwoli-Oparanya Supremacy Battle Threaten Azimio la Umoja in Western Region

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Supremacy battles between Central Organization of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli and Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya are threatening to scuttle ‘Azimio La Umoja’ movement campaign in the western region.

The two leaders are alleged to be waging parallel operations, each in support of their favorite candidates.

Some leaders in ‘Azimio’ accuse Atwoli and Oparanya of promoting the interests of their respective camps and overtly favoring particular aspirants. They are accused of holding separate ceremonies to receive defectors to ‘Azimio,’ which has caused mistrust.

For example, Tindi Mwale (Butere), Titus Khamala (Lurambi), Christopher Aseka (Khwisero), and Matungu’s Peter Nabulindo are all said to have defected from the Amani National Congress (ANC).

Mwale is Oparanya’s political foe, with the governor reportedly preferring political activist Habil Nanjendo for the Butere parliamentary seat, which is close to his local residence.

Oparanya is also said to be supporting medic Stanley Khainga against Khamala in the Lurambi parliamentary seat, David Were against Nabulindo in Matungu, and lawyer Moses Sande against Aseka in Khwisero.

On the county level, Oparanya supports Deputy Philip Kutima, while Atwoli supports Ketraco CEO Fernandes Barasa.

The rivalry between Atwoli and Oparanya was shown on the open during a meeting held on Monday, January 31. The purpose of the meeting was to prepare for Raila Odinga’s tour in the county on Thursday.

Politicians affiliated with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and the newly formed Democratic Alliance Party of Kenya (DAP-K) clashed mid the meeting.

This was after Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe failed to recognize the presence of Barasa forcing delegates to chant his name to express their displeasure

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