Home Politics BBI meeting further splits Gusii political landscape – Weekly Citizen

BBI meeting further splits Gusii political landscape – Weekly Citizen

by kenya-tribune

The recent move by Interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i to hide behind governors’ James Ongwae of Kisii and John Nyagarama (Nyamira) so as to boost his political career by reaching out to opposition leader Raila Odinga’s wings has turned out to haunt him with the community walking out of him – thanks to an earlier political lineup he had put in place.

Whereas Governor Ongwae managed to be the beneficiary, having hosted all the regional governors where he will be the boss after the 2022 general elections, that is, if the three-tier system of governance is adopted, Matiang’i dug his political grave by manhandling Kisii deputy governor Joash Maangi and cabinet administrative secretary Chris Obure.

Just as politicians Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache South), Richard Tong’i (Nyaribari Chache), Ben Momanyi (Borabu), Simba Arati (Dagoretti North) and Samwel Arama ( Nakuru West) were allowed to the podium, Obure who is the seniormost Kisii politician after retired Simeon Nyachae was instructed by Matiang’i to just wave to the audience unlike Sam Ongeri who got enough time to address the more than 3000 delegates at the Kisii golf course.

In the hours prior to the January 10 BBI consultative meeting, Matiang’i punctured his political brother in Jubilee Joash Maangi where he ordered the removal of vehicles and staff assigned to him simply because they were not reading from the same script although supporting the draft document.


Two days prior to the meeting at Gusii stadium, Mount Kenya leaders Ann Waiguru and Maina Kamanda warned Maangi over his political alliance with deputy president William Ruto, stating that the region was a no-go zone for him since locals were not for sale. The governor’s supporters staged demos in Kisii town where they castigated Maangi for being disrespectful to the system.

It was evident during the BBI meeting that the so-called delegates were county employees who had been handpicked to cheer their bosses at the expense of community representatives who were to take the message to the villages.

What scared their political schemers in the region was the boycott of the meeting led by area members of parliament and MCAs with Maangi being their pointman and they included Silvanus Osoro (South Mugirango), Innocent Obiri (Bobasi), Alpha Miruka (Bomachoge Chache) Joash Nyamoko (North Mugirango), Shadrack Mose (Kitutu Masaba), Vincent Kemosi (West Mugirango), while Oroo Oyioka (Bonchari), Zadock Ogutu, (Machoge Borabu) and Ezekiel Machogu, (Nyaribari Masaba) appeared at the BBI meeting as observers.

Political pundits aver that Matiang’i who is at loggerheads with his MP Silvanus Osoro for failing to utilise his portfolio well is on high alert to thwart any attempts by local leaders to outshine him, hence the reason as to why Obure who is in charge of Transport and Infrastructure cannot explain what happened with the 300 kilometres worth of Sh14 billion the president promised the Abagusii community last February.


Obure who has declared interest in the Kisii county gubernatorial seat which he lost to Ongwae during the last polls will face it off with county women representative Janet Ong’era for the coveted seat and who also happened to outshine him during the BBI consultative meeting.

The two politicians who hail from Bobasi constituency will be facing Ongeri and land economist Rachael Otundo from the Nyaribari clan while Maang’i who has not been wavering politically with full endorsement from the Bomachoge clan is keen on succeeding his boss with whom they established the county executive in 2013.

Also outshone by their opponent Ben Momanyi who is the MP for Borabu, during the BBI meeting, were former MP Joseph Kiangoi (North Mugirango/Borabu) and Timothy Bosire (Kitutu Masaba), who have kicked off their campaigns for the Nyamira county gubernatorial seat whose incumbent is Nyangarama.


During the BBI meeting in Kisii, Matiang’i stated categorically that he has been the major beneficiary of the handshake where he has been getting legal advice from opposition lawyers James Orengo and Otiende Amollo, and the first ever such meeting should serve as a covenant to open up joint development conversations in the region.

Matiang’i who is praying that Raila retires from active politics so that he can endorse him for the presidency from Nyanza, and to some extent, from the western region told the former premier, “I am your son, so I can ask as many things as your son,” as he turned to the crowd and assured them that since they started working with the opposition leader, he has shown some consistence and each and sundry should see where leadership is”.

On his part, Raila said that they had chosen Kisii as the centre to kick off the discussion of the BBI document because the region was the headquarters of South Kavirondo which brought Kisii/Luos and Kurias together and if Nyanza votes for the document, the rest of the country will unite for the same purpose.


The BBI consultative forum attended by leaders from Kisii, Nyamira, Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay and Migori counties was used as a curtain raiser to endorse Matiang’i but turned out to be a big setback with a number of local leaders boycotting the meeting which they termed as an ODM affair given the order the speakers were given to address the delegates.

As a result, the Kisii leaders are torn between supporting Matiang’i who is yet to declare his interest for the top seat or even identify a party of which he will contest on, or rallying behind Ruto who has kicked off his campaigns and is just a few metres close to the throne. However, of late, the DP who has been meeting stiff resistance from his political enemies appears to be under severe political war in his ambitions to succeed Uhuru.

Interestingly though, Maangi had earlier convened a press conference at his residence and at the Kisii Camel Park hotel attended by six MPs and 43 MCAs where they supported the BBI document and Matiang’i as the only son from the region who should be respected.

The deputy governor had taken a delegation of 1,500 with eight MPs and the 50 MCAs to Ruto’s Sugoi home in Uasin Gishu where he returned with one agenda of walking towards the 2022 polls a clean man free of corruption.

Known to be a shrewd mobiliser who is most feared by his opponents – thanks to his political networking and financial muscle, Maangi who is in ODM party but comfortably working with leaders from all political parties led by Jubilee has vowed to lead a sustained fight against corruption to the bitter end.

Several youths were allegedly paid to convene a press conference where they demanded that Maangi tenders his resignation as deputy governor if indeed there was corruption in the county government since Governor Ongwae should not carry the cross alone.

Aware of the deputy governor’s political schemes which have proved successful, Governor Ongwae has since found himself between a rock and a hard place, thus changing his political lineup for the 2022 general elections where he os seeking guidance from the ODM party leader Raila Odinga on the right person to succeed him when his term comes to an end.

The governor is said to be dropping the name of Senator Ongeri whom he has been moving around with in the region where Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka has been promised the position of the deputy governor and this latest move will see a number of candidates going back to the drawing board.

A meeting between Governor Ongwae and his former Senator Chris Obure in Nairobi recently where his successor was the topic on the cards has sent shockwaves to the county executive where Obure is warming up for the top county’s coveted seat.

Observers argue that Raila should bring Obure on board because when he was in the system prior to the 2013 general elections, his team managed to bring home several MPs and MCAs compared to the present group led by Governor Ongwae who did not manage a single MP from the region while Maangi who had strengthened Jubilee when they differed with Ongwae earlier managed to scoop four MPs and several MCAs seats.


Rachael Otundo, former South Mugirango MP Omingo Magara and Manson Oyongo are also keen to succeed Ongwae who happens to respect his deputy Maangi who of late has been enjoying more grassroots support across the region.

Behind Maangi is the deputy speaker of the Kisii county assembly Davis Onuso, leader of majority Timothy Ogugu, leader of minority James Ondari and the chairman of the Kisii county assembly caucus Samwel Apoko, and Kisii county Jubilee chairman who is also the former Gucha branch Knut executive secretary Sam Nyairo among others.

It was during the gathering to usher in the New Year which was attended by several leaders where most speakers promised to rally behind Matiang’i for the presidency to which Kitutu Chache MP Richard Onyonka questioned why the deputy governor can not follow suit.

Maangi was to open up political cracks when he said that he had no problem with Matiang’i only that there were corrupt individuals who were hiding behind his shield to avoid arrest and prosecution which charged governor Ongwae’s supporters which resulted into trading of accusations.

It emerged that Maangi wants to dislodge those who have started sensing power so that he can emerge with a new team which will promote the interest of DP Ruto who is his political soulmate so that he can continue with the development projects initiated by the Jubilee government.

Critics argue that despite being close to the president and as the super CS, Matiang’i has not been pushing for the community’s development agenda but chasing personal interests which are not beneficial to the area residents.

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