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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Hidden schemes in Kisii politics

Kitutu Chache ODM MP Richard Onyonka is the latest of the opposition elected legislators to declare his willingness to abandon the party for Jubilee of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.
 But he is claimed to be out to cajole the TNA wing of the Jubilee coalition to bail him out financially of several hardship and also to intervene by having criminal and corruption charges levelled against him in court dropped.
The MP has brought on his side powerful pro-TNA backers in Gusii region to help him bargain with State House and they have managed to place him as a favourite appointee to the cabinet in case Uhuru decides to fill up the remaining cabinet slots.
Meanwhile, his key role in driving Kisii elected leaders to work with Jubilee and even to defect from other parties is raising eyebrows.
Is there a hidden plot to convert the Abagusii community vote block into a political tool to fight partisan ethnic wars by powerful outside forces? Have Abagusii MPs been tricked to join a bandwagon pursuing a delicate political chess game they are ignorant about?
The MPs have reportedly come up with a plot to ensure Raila Odinga completely loses the Southern Nyanza support by 2017.
Unknown to majority of Kisii and Nyamira MPs in the  camp, the key players Jimmy Ang’wenyi and Onyonka made secret trips to State House and held meetings with TNA official including Onyango Oloo and Gatundu MP Moses Kuria and have been detailed and sponsored to kick start a loud campaign to have the community appear to anti-Raila.
Once their intended purpose of using the community to inflate ODM is over, it has reportedly been agreed, the Mt Kenya sponsors will reward Abagusii voters. Whereas Angwenyi is a TNA MP, Onyonka is an avowed supporter of Uhuru despite being an ODM MP. Hence, they didn’t find themselves in this TNA game accidentally but got recruited to head the anti-ODM war in Kisii.
Reliable sources have it that this anti-Raila plot is a carefully worked out maneuver by TNA consultant Mutahi Ngunyi and a London- based propaganda and political communication group who have been tasked with ensuring that Raila is completely neutered ahead of 2017 and the opposition crippled permanently as TNA and URP merge.
All Abagusii MPs were expected to join this camp but some have kept off save for Charles Geni, women  representatives, Alice Chae (Nyamira), Mary Otara (Kisii), Senator Chris Obure (Kisii) and Timothy Bosire (Kitutu-Masaba). The two governors and Nyamira senator Okong’o of Ford Kenya are keenly watching events.
Already, controversy surrounds last year’s harambee for newly promoted, to the Kenya Football Premier League,  Shabana Football Club which has its origins in Kisii town. Evans Kidero and Football Kenya President Sam Nyamweya were chief guests.
It is said Ang’wenyi and Onyonka had earlier lured the MPs in the delegation with assurances that they were each to get Sh1 million to donate at the harambee from government.
However, they were  given each Sh100,000. They failed to disclose to him that majority of those absent could reject the agenda even if invited.
To their chagrin the failure to get the governor give the Sh1 million they had promised the team caused an instant rebellion against Ang’wenyi and Onyonka.
The rebellion was so  widespread that when the Shabana FC harambee was conducted at 680 Hotel and  Kidero showed up in the company of Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko and Football Kenya Federation chairman Sam Nyamweya, no single Gusii member of parliament attended or sent contribution.
Pundits of Gusii politics are still at a loss as to why and how a large number of area elected leaders have decided to work with State House and TNA spanner-boys who have regularly paraded themselves in public reciting sycophantic slogans in praise of the powers that be in a manner akin to the 1980s and 1990s theatrics of Kanu’s renown court jesters like Mulu Mutisya, Ezekiel Barngetuny, Kariuki Chotara, Kuria Kanyingi, William Lasoi, and Shariff Nassir.
Whereas Ang’wenyi is a TNA elected MP who was in the defunct PNU of Mwai Kibaki, he horned his skills in Ford People of Simeon Nyachae which was famed for nepotism and control by relatives and sycophants. Onyonka was always in Uhuru’s corner, having made two attempts to go to parliament on a Kanu ticket including in 2002.
The son of a former minister Zachary Onyonka, is in addition being propelled to do the unexpected to fight for his political survival. Already, he has an ongoing court case of having illegally used his constituency CDF money to buy imported sugar and sell it privately in his personal business enterprise that has seen sugar industries like Mumias go down.
It is ironical, therefore, that the same duo in the collaboration of several former MPs, have tried to auction the community to Ruto. They have also tried to work out some amorphous community unity mobilisation stunts to hand the community to Nyachae’s family but it has not worked well.
In the past other politicians, notably Simeon Nyachae and Sam Ongeri tried the same tactics of mortgaging the community to outside political formations for financial and other personal gains.