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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Funeral platform campaigns irk mourners in Nyamira

Barely three years to the next general elections, jostling and lobbying for various political seats in Nyamira county has erupted on the ground.
Leaders interested in various political seats are moving from one funeral to another in a bid to register their interests that come 2017, they will be in the race.
Some who cannot   attend funerals and harambees have resorted   to sending their emissaries to the functions so their presence can be  felt.
The main focus is in the three county top seats namely, the senate, the governor and the county women representative.
The seats of members of the county assembly after the top three county seats have also attracted  a high a number of aspirants including the perennial losers in the race in parliamentary seats for  decades.
Those currently occupying the top county seats  namely John Nyagarama (governor), Okongo Mongare (senator) and Alice Chae(woman rep) are already having  sleepless nights scheming how to  retain their coveted seats.
The poor performance of the three in terms of development,  poor working relationship particularly the senator and the county governor could see them kicked out in 2017.
The senator and the governor are a worried lot running around to fend off rivals.
Nyagarama who was elected on an ODM ticket is expected to face a stiff competition from Charles Mokaya who lost in the last general elections.
Political observers say  Nyagarama will have to double his efforts  to retain the seat as the county has  done little in terms of development  because of the quality of members of his executive committee members who are entrusted with the responsibility of implementing projects .
Majority of the county executive committee members  are new in the game and  have  little understanding of what should be done  in their dockets in terms of development, it is said.
The same source told Weekly Citizen that the inclusion of people whose past record in the former government is tainted complicates his re-election bid  and unless he bundles them out now. Those said to be quietly seeking for the coveted seat of governor  include  Erneo Nyakiba, Mwancha Okioma, Walter Nyambati, Tom Otuto, Dennis Abincha   and Mary Matini.
It is also rumoured that Kitutu Masaba MP Timothy Bosire is weighing options.
However political pundits say Nyagarama may have an edge since his  name is not in the list of shame tabled by Uhuru Kenyatta which is viewed as a big boost.
Nyagarama is seen as a good performer having opened up 220 kilometres which had been impassable during rains.
Nyagarama believes he deserves  a second term saying for the short time he has been in power he has addressed various sectors like agriculture, health, education, roads, water and environment and the empowerment of youths .
However his political detractors accuse him of allowing some of his officers to embezzle county funds through corrupt deals .
The detractors argue that some of the officers have amassed a lot from the government despite earning little.
Others argue that  if Mochama is given an opportunity to be the governor he may end nepotism which they  argue is rampant in Nyagarama’s leadership.
Mochama says  given an opportunity, he will optimise use of government resources.
Nyakiba who  contested  the seat of the governor in the last general elections but lost to Nyagarama cannot be ignored for the position.
Nyakiba who is the Kanu national treasurer is currently enjoying the support of the catholic church in the county.
Nyakiba is one of the aspirants who has been in touch with the electorate despite losing the coveted seat.
Another factor which could determine the next governor of Nyamira county is political alignments.
In the seat of the senate  Joseph Kiangoi who is a member of the East African Legislative Assembly has declared that he  will contest for the seat which is currently being held by Okongo Mogare.
The seat of the senate has attracted  lawyers Okongo Omogeni and Nyambega Mose. Robert Nyakango is a political scientist.
Kiangoi who was one time a member of parliament in North Mugirango Borabu constituency and an assistant minister for local government during his tenure left a record of development which is still talk of the area.
He argues that given an opportunity,he will unite the people Nyamira and their leaders for development to be realised.
Kiangoi is also known for blocking Nyamira county residents from visiting the former president Daniel Moi.
Omogeni who took the second position in the last general elections cannot be ignored.
He is quietly interacting with both the old and youth in a bid to strengthen his political campaign in readiness for the next general elections.
It is also not clear whether former West Mugirango MP Henry Obwocha who contested for the seat in the last elections will try again.
Chae has a big challenge in retaining  her seat following recent incidents which have been dogging her political career.
Of late she has  been receiving  hostile receptions particularly from  mourners.
Those who are out to face her in the next general elections include Jerusa Momanyi and Grace Nyamomgo both of who contested for the seat but lost to Chae.
Chae and Mongare have become unpopular among many residents in the county a clear  indication that they may be one-termers.