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Leave South Nyanza alone! Young professionals blast Raila

A group of young professionals from the South Nyanza region have come out to condemn incitement against government officials.

This concerns recent comments by leaders allied to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party who claimed that the Kenya Kwanza Alliance has no place in the Nyanza region.

Speaking to the media at KICC on Tuesday, January 16, the young professionals led by Kennedy Odiek accused Raila Odinga’s ODM party of balkanising the region for too long.

“ODM party has chosen to balkanise and attempt to ring fence Luo Nyanza as a region meant for a particular political party,” Mr Odiek said.

The young professionals are urging the ODM party to show respect towards other political parties in the region, as well as the ruling party. They point out that despite the region being considered an opposition stronghold, the ruling party has appointed numerous leaders from the area to government positions.

They said some of the leaders from Central Nyanza have long dictated politics for other regions, resulting in the region being left behind when it comes to development.

“Central Nyanza politicians and their enablers come to South Nyanza to intimidate and harass civil servants from the region. This pattern has been part of Luo politics since independence, a shameless continuation of costly politics that have led to economic, and political decline of our community for decades,” Mr Odiek said.

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Mr Odiek, who is the ruling party’s coordinator in the South Nyanza region, said that the ODM party has colonised the region politically, a trend that should be changed by allowing democracies to take shape.

“All the political parties registered to operate in Kenya are welcomed to operate in South Nyanza. Kenya is a multiparty democracy state, and all the parties are welcomed to recruit members, field candidates in local suits and to mobilise for power.”

Government officials from the region have been asked to remain steadfast in their national duties and to serve without the fear of being discriminated against by the residents.

According to the young professionals, ODM was using threats and intimidation to target other parties in the region, purposely to remain the only influential party in the region.

“Decline in democratic space in Luo Nyanza should worry all Kenyans because Luo Nyanza is a very strategic region, and has very strategic people who are of very great importance in our political dynamics of the country.”

Mr Odinga has also been told that the continued victimisation of other political parties from setting their offices in the Nyanza region will taint his reputation as a fight for the multiparty constitution.

According to Bruce Juma, fighting government officials from the region is backwardness by the opposition side,

“Let them set their strategies right, let them set their agenda which they have for this country right, and bring to the table that which bring concern to the youth. We are not going to be backed down by petty words which are not going to yield in the South Nyanza,” Juma said.