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Why The Luhya Nation Won't Unite And Produce a President (Opinion)

Luhya, also known as Abaluhya, is a branch of the Bantu language family spoken primarily in Western and Nyanza areas. The counties of Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga, and Trans Nzoia are specifically populated by this group. They are well-known for the number of brilliant minds they produce, the number of famous people they produce, the quality of their football players, and their "friendliness" for people of other tribes.

Over the past few decades, however, the Luhya people have found themselves on the receiving end of national political issues. Multiple news outlets have used the phrase "Luhya unity" in their headlines. A reasonable person can speculate as to the relevance of "Luhya unity" to the rising expense of life in the country. To a person from Meru or Mombasa, the idea of Luhya unity may not make much sense, but to a native Luhya who is familiar with the struggles of his people, it makes more than a lot of sense.

None of the Luhya leaders, past or present, have been able to bring their people together. Many factors, including;

Ideological differences are the primary issue. There are a number of Luhya politicians that are at a political crossroads and must quickly choose a course of action. Some of the elites in the group believe that their existing leaders lack the skills necessary to run for president and argue that they should instead back someone outsider who appears more capable. Francis Atwoli has encouraged Mudavadi and Wetangula to vote for Raila Odinga, the candidate he predicts will be elected president in 2022.

Second, several high-profile Luhya politicians have been accused of putting their personal gain ahead of the community's. Although Musalia Mudavadi, Kijana Wamalwa, and Moody Awori all had opportunities to work together and run for president together in 2002, they each let their own ambitions get in the way and instead backed other candidates. Musalia Mudavadi favored Uhuru Kenyatta's running partner Kijana Wamalwa, but Kibaki won the presidency and made Wamalwa his vice president.

Finally, it's been observed that the Luhya people are quite varied in many respects. Each of the 17 clans follows a unique set of traditions and customs. They even speak a completely different language. Several groups, such the Bukusu and the maragoli, have actively sought to establish themselves as the dominant ones. Some examples of these smaller groups include the Wanga, Idhako, Isukha, Kabras, Marachi, Nyala, Nyole, Samia, Tachoni, and many others.

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Abaluhya Bungoma Busia Kakamega Vihiga


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