Kenya's Most Authoritative Political Newspaper

Citizen Weekly

Thursday, 18 September 2014

FORD PEOPLE STIRS GUSIILAND



FORD-People party the giant which has been hibernating like a volcano has finally woken up and its rumbling is being felt far and wide in the country more so in its stronghold region of Gusii. It is generating so much heat that it has set the entire region into political panic.


FORD-People was brought to the limelight in 2002 by Simeon Nyachae who used it as his vehicle in his failed attempt to become the country’s president. The party swept all the parliamentary and Civic seats in Kisii then and several others countrywide.

But one main failure of the Nyachae incumbency was the perceived strongman approach by him which made many Kisii politicians to recent the party arguing that Nyachae had handpicked his henchmen to get the party certificates and that most were in one way or another related to him. This left a sour taste in the mouths of those who did not make it in 2002 resulting in mass walkout of senior politicians in Gusii from the party to ODM in the run up to the 2007 general elections. ODM then went ahead to clinch almost all the seats in Gusii in that year’s elections. 2013 was no exception as ODM again ruled Gusii.


Three by elections have since taken place in Kisii County. The first was in Bomachoge Borabu where a TNA member of parliament had been sent home by the High court in Kisii. This member who has a record of winning the seat using unfair practises has had two by elections set against him in the past. TNA burnt the midnight oil to get the seat back against ODM’s attempt to grab it.

The second by-election was in Nyachae’s own Nyaribari Chache constituency. Chris Bichage who had won this seat after trying for more than twenty years lost it in the by election to FORD-People’s Richard Tongi. The third by election took place in Bonchari constituency where Hon Opore of FORD-People regained the seat which he had lost through a court action.

The star performance by FORD People may be attributed to the greatest secret that every political party ought to embrace for its survival “COMPETETIVE AND DEMOCRATIC NOMINATIONS’’. This was evident in the Nyaribari by election where Tongi who had been in WIPER party previously was picked from a very competitive battery of politicians some of whom had been known to be ardent supporters of the party since inception.Some of those who lost the nomination were even rumoured to be Nyachae’s relatives.


FORD Peoples fortunes in Gusii seem to be hammered home further by the activities of its supporters the most notable one being the Church attendances of Simeon Nyachae’s eldest son Charles and the area’s only cabinet minister Fred Matiangi.

The gains of FORD People in Gusii have sent so much shockwaves among Kisii politicians upto the point where some have resorted to all sorts of measures to dim the party’s glow some of which border on the absurd. The most notable ones come from the County’s ODM top leadership.


The Kisii Governor and his deputy have panicked so much that the deputy governor has lately constantly gone against his party to claim that he is publicly in support of FORD People. He publicly campaigned for FORD People in the three by elections. This put him in direct conflict with his governor who at some point tried to sponsor the impeachment of his deputy.  


The deputy governor in response went ahead to sponsor an impeachment motion against the Governor. In the process the two made public some dirty deals each had undertaken in Gusii County Government some of which are now under scrutiny of the country’s anti corruption agency. Soon we will be seeing some arrests from Kisii.

This theatre of the absurd played out in utter amusement of FORD People party leaders who chose not to participate but watched from a distance.It ended with the county’s senator Chris Obure, who himself shudders at the mention of FORD People and Nyachae in person, upon realising that this drama was playing to the hands of FORD People called a crisis meeting of all Gusii ODM leaders who chastised the two gubernatorial leaders by telling them to their faces that if they continued fighting they risk losing their leadership to FORD People. All the ODM leaders have since gone ballistic against FORD People shouting at every opportunity that Kisiis do not need one party to unite them.

The gubernatorial leaders have since resorted to other crude methods of survival. They have hired paparazzis who are busy churning out newspaper stories showing FORD People in bad light and especially critical of Nyachae and more so his son Charles. The articles are very abusive and they are calculated at causing discord and disunity in FORD People leadership.


The articles unveil a clear attempt at the gubernatorial leaders’ attempt to take over the top leadership of FORD People. Many of the stories comically claim that ‘’most people interviewed are saying that the deputy governor is Nyachae’s only friend in Kisii and that he will be Charles’ running mate in the 2017 gubernatorial race’’.

Most top leaders of FORD People in Gusii interviewed by the Weekly Citizen laughed off the claim that they will front the current deputy governor as the gubernatorial running mate of Charles Nyachae. Charles has not even declared his interest in this seat or any seat for that matter, besides the current deputy governor will be a ridiculous choice when the time comes. We have many credible members who will be considered when the right time comes’’ said one former MP from Gusii.

The political panic is so evident that the deputy governor has been doing ridiculous things hoping that he can be noticed as a worthy leader among the Abagusii. History has it that after the 2009 by election in Bomachoge which was won by Simon Ogari, the deputy governor who was then an ODM activist started participating in hooliganism whereby Ogari would be heckled whenever he was spotted in Bomachoge. This made him think that he could unseat Ogari in 2013 however he was prevailed upon by wazees from his clan Bokione, from which Ogari also hails, to stop harassing Ogari and instead cling to the coat tails of Ongwae who was then the county’s ODM favourite for the governorship.


South African wiseman of political elections Mr Kriegler stated in Nairobi this week the fact that Kenyan politics is fatally tribal based and it is laden with ‘’the winner takes it all’’ and ‘’it is our turn to eat’’ syndromes. Whoever goes against this grain is always shown the door by the electorate. As much as the ODM mandarins work hard to wish away FORD People from Gusii the fact that it is the party of the Kisii region cannot be wished away and its idea has finally caught up with the electorate like bushfire.


Current seating members of Parliament and the county assemblies of Kisii and Nyamira are quietly applying to join the party. One ODM MP tried very much to campaign on it for the gubernatorial race come 2017 but when he realised that the competition will be stiff he opted to jump into another party. The more the ODM leaders continue to throw mud at FORD People, the more they make it visible in Gusii and they will realise that when you leave in a glass house, do not throw stones.