The political supremacy battles between William Ruto and Fred Matiang’i over the jostling of the Kisii votes in readiness for the 2022 general elections has hit the ground.
Already, two major political camps have emerged in Gusii land, one revolving along Matiang’i and the other rotating behind the DP.
The group which is rooting for Matiang’i to be the next president includes governors James Ongwae (Kisii), John Nyagarama (Nyamira), senators Okongo Omogeni (Nyamira), Sam Ongeri (Kisii), MPs Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache South), Samuel Arama (Nakuru West), Ben Momanyi (Borabu), Jimmy Angwenyi (Kitutu Chache North), Zadock Ogutu (Bomachoge), Richard Tongi (Nyaribari Chache), women reps Jerusha Momanyi (Nyamira), Janet Ongera (Kisii), Nyamira county assembly speaker Moffat Teya, leader of majority Duke Masira, former MPs Walter Nyambati, Joseph Kiangoi and over forty MCAs drawn from the two counties.
The pro-Ruto camp which is perceived to be against the Omogusii thinking in political matters includes MPs Joash Nyamoko(North Mugirango), Vincent Kemosi (West Mugirango), Shadrack Mose (Kitutu Masaba), Oroo Oyioka (Bonchari), Alfa Miruka (Bomachoge Chache), innocent Obiri (Bobasi), Ezekiel Machogu (Nyaribari Masaba), Silvanus Osoro and Kisii deputy governor Joash Maangi.
For the last two months, the two camps have pitched tent in the two counties asking the area residents to back their favourite candidates for the seat of presidency come 2022.
Two weeks ago the pro-Matiang’i group which is led by Ongeri converged at Gesiaga Secondary School in West Mugirango constituency during a funds drive in aid of the institution where they made a strong declaration of endorsing Matiang’i as the community’s flagbearer for the seat of presidency come the next general elections.
The group which also comprises of senior civil servants from the community has termed the Ruto team which is led by Kisii deputy governor Joash Maangi as a club of traitors and hired guns who were being used by Ruto in a bid to block Matiang’i’s chances of winning the seat of presidency after the retirement of president Uhuru Kenyatta.
All the speakers in the function told Matiang’i to remain firm and focused to becoming the next president and assured him of their support in delivering the country’s development agenda while he serves as a superminister.
Ongeri in his speech advised residents of the Kisii and Nyamira counties to ensure they come out in all their numbers to be counted during the forthcoming national population census exercise so as to ensure their number counts in the next general elections.
“This community has many votes than it is in the national books. Let us turn out in numbers and prove that we can also produce a president,” the senator said.
Arama on his part told the MPs from Gusii who had not joined the bandwagon of other political leaders from the region who had resolved to support Matiang’i to change their minds before it is too late.
“Anybody from within and outside Gusii who is antagonising us should be prepared to learn the hard way about their costly mistake when it shall have become late to regret,” Arama said.
Onyonka said the region has reached a point when it should produce a president.
“It is time now that we as the Gusii community came out in the open with our own bull that we can offer for national leadership,” Onyonka said in reference to Matiang’i.
Onyonka said there were indications that even Raila Odinga was out to support Matiang’i’s rise to power.
Senator Okong’o acknowledged the respect the president has to the community and urged locals to follow his political directions.
To counter the Matiang’i endorsement declaration at Gesiaga Secondary School, the Ruto team last Monday hastily organised two funds drives in Nyamira county in a bid to preempt and scuttle the endorsement of Matiang’i where they invited the deputy president to be the chief guest.
The funds drives for women groups and boda boda riders were held at Ekerenyo in North Mugirango and Rigoma in Kitutu Masaba constituencies respectively, where the pro-Ruto team used the forum to dress down Matiang’i politically.
Leading the onslaught, the West Mugirango MP Vincent Kemosi dismissed the group which had endorsed Matiang’i for presidency, arguing that it had misled him to contest for the seat which he had no qualifications to.
Kemosi without missing words said it was wrong for a person who was taking position 35 in national politics to start imagining that he could take position one within a short span of time.
Osoro who is the South Mugirango legislator discredited Matiang’i arguing that he was not ripe enough for the seat of presidency leave a lone of his incapability of being elected as the chairman of a tea buying centres.
He termed Matiang’i as a failure because he has failed to use his position to change the lives of his people who are currently languishing in poverty.
Ruto who was present chose never to respond to Matiang’i candidature as his spanner boys took the leading role in discrediting him.
At Rigoma playground, the crowd kept mum as the lawmakers tore into the leadership of Matiang’i an indication that they never wanted to be dragged into the Matiang’i and Ruto succession politics.