William Ruto allies in Gusii politics are working on modalities to tame Internal cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i’s growing influence in the region.
This is after Matiang’i decided to consolidate his support in the area by frequently visiting the area and promising to complete development projects that have stalled for a long time.
In fact, before the emergence of the CS in the region’s political scene, Ruto enjoyed massive support and was the man to watch in 2022.
Ruto and Matiang’i do not see eye-to-eye and the DP’s camp has been pushing for his removal as powerful minister in Uhuru and Jubilee government.
Matiang’i has not declared interest in the presidency but his decision to order the provincial administration in Gusii region to avoid Ruto functions clearly signifies he is among those out to frustrate DP’s presidential bid.
Surprisingly, whenever Matiang’i visits, the entire provincial security is at hand to receive him just like ODM leader Raila Odinga. Raila has discovered the influence of Matiang’i in Gusii politics and that is why he has openly come out to defend him against corruption allegations by Ruto allied politicians.
One man championing for Matiang’i presidency is former Kitutu Masaba MP Mwancha Okioma. “The minister is reviving some of projects which stalled immediately we left office. We shall stand with him until he takes over. We shall talk to our friends,” Okioma said.
One strategy by Ruto political attack dogs in the region is to have Matiang’i be seen as a lone ranger in local politics and not development oriented. He is also to be linked to the ageing Simon Nyachae who is accused of exploiting the community by grabbing land and being a home guard during the colonial times of his father chief Musa Nyandusi.
West Mugirango MP Vincent Kemosi says most of projects Matiang’i wants to ride on were factored into the budget by MPs who are pro-Ruto.
Ruto pointmen in the region are South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro, Kisii deputy governor Joash Maangi and chair of Gusii MPs’ caucus Joash Nyamoko who comes from Nyamira county just like Matiang’i.
Senator Sam Ongeri and his Nyamira counterpart Okong’o Mogeni are key players in Matiang’i camp.
Antony Kibagendi, a close aide of Ruto has accused Matiang’i of being used to scuttle Ruto fortunes in the region.
Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka is now with Matiang’i.
Aware of the emerging Matiang’i factor, Maangi has distanced himself from the ongoing 2022 succession politics in the county.
Speaking on Sunday when he joined worshippers and other leaders for a church service at Nyagesa Lutheran church, Bomachoge Chache subcounty, Maangi said he has no time to play politics.
“It is too early to talk about succession politics in Kisii ahead of 2022 general elections because at the moment I’m busy helping my boss Governor James Ongwae to serve the people of Kisii county,” he said.
The Chris Obure team which has been preaching unity by having meetings across the county has been urging the community to unite moreso in supporting the government so that they can develop the county.
Most of Obure’s team includes elected leaders while Ongeri’s team has aspirants from various constituencies.
Former Kisii county senator Obure has appealed to Kisii and Nyamira leaders to join hands and support Matiang’i to deliver and meet Uhuru Kenyatta’s expectations. ODM chairman John Mbadi is also for Matiang’i.
Several leaders from Nyamira and Kisii counties led by Governors John Nyagarama and James Ongwae want Matiang’i to go for presidency.