The Ongeri equation in murky Gusiiland politics

The Ongeri equation in murky Gusiiland politics


Gusii politics continued to deepen ahead of the next general elections when youths from Kisii and Nyamira county met last week, endorsed and declared that Kisii county senator Sam Ongeri be the community’s political spokesman. They dismissed a clique of elected leaders from the community who were imposing the Interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i to be the community’s political icon and spokesman.

The over 400 youths who met at a Oyugi’s hotel in Homa Bay county said that Matiang’i was politically juvenile, lacks political experience and therefore does not qualify by all standards to be the community’s political spokesman. They asserted that he does not understand the political dynamics in Gusii since he has never participated or been involved in political matters involving the community apart from being Simeon Nyachae’s speech writer when he contested for the presidency .

The youths who were drawn from all the constituencies in Kisii land said that Ongeri’s political experience puts him ahead when it comes to matters touching the community politically. Led by Shem Oyagi, they noted that for the over 32 years Ongeri has been in politics, the Kisii community has greatly benefited from the government compared to Matiangi.

In what seems be a no confidence against Matiang’i, the youths said that Matiang’i should first demonstrate as to what he has done to community for the short span of time he has served in the government to warrant him being the community’s political spokesman. They told this writer that Matiang’i has performed well as a minister but what they are interested in is how he has assisted his own home area but not the nation.

They cited that when Ongeri was the minister in charge of Education, Foreign Affairs, Health, Local Government and Technical Training his power and impact was felt in the entire Gusii region compared to Matiang’i who has served in the ministries of Education, Information and ICT and Interior. They also took issue with Matiang’i for dining and praising leaders who have mismanaged the county resources like Nyamira county governor John Nyagarama and his Kisii counterpart James Ongwae, a number of MPs and MCAs whom they did not name from the two counties.

Governor John Nyangarama

Ongeri has already thrown his weight behind Matiang’i along other leaders like governors Jon Nyagarama (Nyamira), James Ongwae (Kisii), Senator Okongo Omogeni (Nyamira) and MPs Ben Momanyi (Borabu), Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache South), Jimmy Angwenyi (Kitutu Chache North), Jerusa Momanyi (women rep Nyamira and her Kisii counterpart Janet Ongera for the seat of presidency. A supporter of Ongeri, James Omariba told this writer that Ongeri is now busy scheming how to win the seat of the governor after the retirement of Governor James Ongwae.