ODM deputy party leader Wycliffe Oparanya has addressed recent assertions suggesting his endorsement of Senator Boni Khalwale for the 2027 gubernatorial election in Kakamega County. Clarifying the situation, Oparanya emphasized that while he and Khalwale engaged in discussions regarding Khalwale’s aspirations during a meeting, there was no formal endorsement given, especially considering their political affiliations.

The clarification follows a joint press conference held by the two politicians in January, which was interpreted by some as a reconciliation between them after a prolonged period of rivalry. Shedding light on the nature of their interaction, Oparanya revealed that Khalwale acknowledged him as the senior-most leader in Kakamega during their meeting, where Khalwale expressed his intention to contest the gubernatorial seat in 2027. However, Oparanya emphasized that Khalwale did not seek any explicit support, given their differing party affiliations.

Oparanya made these statements during the funeral service of Mwalimu Haggai Isiongo in Marenyo-Shianda ward, Butere constituency, where he was joined by Governor Fernandes Barasa, MP Tindi Mwale, Woman MP Elsie Muhanda, and several other leaders. This occasion provided Oparanya with the opportunity to clarify the context of his interaction with Khalwale and dispel any misconceptions regarding his stance on the 2027 gubernatorial race.

Reflecting on their previous public reconciliation at Khalwale’s Emabole home, Oparanya reiterated their commitment to collaborate for the development of Kakamega County. Khalwale also echoed this sentiment, emphasizing their shared vision for the county’s progress and the importance of unity among leaders to achieve their goals.

During the funeral service, Oparanya acknowledged Khalwale’s role in challenging him during his tenure as governor, attributing it to his motivation to deliver results for the county. He recounted an incident where Khalwale delivered a cow to his homestead, symbolizing a gesture of reconciliation and goodwill between them.

The history between Oparanya and Khalwale includes Khalwale’s unsuccessful attempt to unseat Oparanya in the 2017 gubernatorial election. In 2022, Khalwale opted to contest the Senate seat instead, as part of a strategic decision within the UDA party.

Additionally, Governor Barasa refuted claims of discord with Oparanya, affirming his support for Oparanya’s leadership within the ODM party. He emphasized the need for unity among elected leaders in Butere constituency to effectively serve the interests of their constituents and foster development in the region.

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