Outspoken Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala has been thrown into a limbo amid succession intrigues ahead of Governor Wycliffe Oparanya's exit.
In a statement issued by Wanga Council of Elders on Tuesday, they claimed that the first term senator who is at pole position to succeed Oparanya is a Luo given the roots of his father.
Chairperson Peter Nabongo said Mr Malala should serve them as senator but cannot broker a deal on behalf of the larger Luhya community in Western Kenya.
"He is not a Luhya. His father came from Nyanza and settled here. He was allowed to marry from around but that does not mean they are Luhyas. He should execute his roles but cannot transact businesses on behalf of us," he said.
Malala served as a ward representative before his election as senator in 2017 on ANC. He replaced Bonnie Khalwale who had opted to challenge Oparanya. The two could face each other in 2022 polls in the battle to succeed Governor Oparanya.
But despite the claims, Malala has dismissed the sentiments as propaganda, adding that he's a Luhya from the Wanga Community. He accused his opponents of fueling the narrative.
"That's a very cheap propaganda. I am a Luhya but I serve everyone. No matter were you come from, I'll still serve you. That's the Kenya we want. I am past cheap ethnic politics," he said.
Although he was elected on ANC, Malala is closely associated with Raila Odinga. His loyalty to the former Prime Minister saw him being elected as Senate Deputy Minority Leader last year.
He has often appeared in ODM rallies but has never been reprimanded by his sponsor party. Also working closely with him are Edwin Sifuna and Godfrey Osotsi.