Political realignments in Gusiiland has caught Interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i in a panic and awkward position where he is using elected leaders from the two counties of Kisii and Nyamira to build his empire at the expense of reuniting and working with the family of retired politician Simeon Nyachae which elevated him to his present status.
The tough talking Matiang’i, whose roots are in South Mugirango, Kisii county, is speaking with authority from Borabu constituency in Nyamira county to the chagrin of local opinion leaders who have a rich history of the Abagusii community.
They are used to not putting their eggs in one basket in any given elections.
To make matters worse, Matiang’i presided over a meeting in Kisii last week attended by selected elders including governors, senators and women representatives where he
was endorsed as spokesman and elder of the Abagusii community just eighteen months to the next polls.
In attendance were the host Governor James Ongwae, his newly elected Nyamira counterpart Amos Nyaribo, senators Sam Ongeri and Okong’o Omogeni and women
representatives Janet Ong’era an Jerusha Momanyi. Governor Ongwae, who is serving his second and final term, is the only sure pet since the rest have started their journey towards the 2022 general elections.
How fast Matiang’i joined Nyaribo’s camp after sidelining him for years where he dined with the late governor John Obiero Nyagarama?
There is more than meets the eye on the sound management of Nyamira county whose residents have been crying due to corruption, underdevelopment and nepotism.
Questions have been raised on the command of the chairman of the Abagusii council of elders James Matundura across the community where he has been accused of pushing his personal interests to fulfill certain agendas.
Since the said meeting, there has been bad blood between those who were present and Kisii deputy governor Joash Maangi and Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati who were endorsed as elders and spokesmen in two different functions earlier last year.
While Maangi was endorsed at Tendere playing grounds in Bomachoge constituency, Arati was endorsed at Motonto playing ground in Bobasi constituency with Matiang’i’s latest endorsement
taking place at the Kisii Agricultural Training Centre in Kitutu Chache South constituency.
It was disclosed that the meeting at the Kisii Agricultural Training Centre came hot on the heels of the reorganization of William Ruto’s presidential campaign in Gusiiland where influential leaders with financial muscles have been brought on board to permanently seal Matiang’I’s political future in Kisii and Kenya at large.
It is important to note that a number of those who had hit their 2022 campaign trail for the gubernatorial race in the two counties have taken a short break so as to exchange political positions so as the Tangatanga team triumphs come the next general elections.
Latest entrants in the camp are former Kenya Ports Authority managing director Daniel Manduku, East African Community Judge Charles Nyachae and former Bonchari MP Zebedeo Opore who have been tasked with reversing the winning
formula for the deputy president and his team.
Among those who were quick to dismiss Matiang’i’s endorsement were Kisii county gubernatorial aspirant Rachael Otundo, retired senior chief Jonathan Machoka, MPs
Silvanus Osoro (South Mugirango), Joash Nyamoko (North Mugirango), Zadock Ogutu (Bomachoge Borabu) retired teacher Richard Michoma, among others.
Some have given their options for Matiang’i to first resign from the cabinet and accommodate all the Jubilee party leaders who worked for the victory of Uhuru Kenyatta and the ruling Jubilee which created room for his appointment to the cabinet.
Other opinion leaders want a spokesman who is over 70 years, independent minded and what can demonstrate his achievement to the entire community and not the one
who will end up benefiting certain individuals politically, economically and socially.
Although the group that endorsed the CS promised to bring MPs and MCAs from the entire region on board, the ground is getting hostile given the lagging behind of the community in terms of development.
Observers want Matiang’i and his cronies to list all development projects and employment opportunities that were unique from other communities in Kenya during Uhuru’s regime and not blinding them with his position in the cabinet because Kisiis have been enjoying the same positions since independence.