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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Gusii MPs abandon bereaved families at hour of need

Five MPs from Nyamira county have come under a scathing  attack from area residents and a section of leaders for snubbing a harambee and mass church service for three university students from the county who perished in the Garissa University terrorist attack.
According to political analysts, the legislators who were supposed to protect the interests of their subjects either in times of joy or mourning made a political blunder by skipping the two events which may pose a big threat and challenge to their political hold on their positions and subsequently damage their careers in 2017.
Following the poor background of the three deceased, Susan Onyinkwa, Josphine Onyancha and Ivone Makori, their families needed assistance.
The five legislators who did not attend the occasion are Timothy Bosire of Kitutu Masaba, James Gesami, West Mugirango, Ben Momanyi, Borabu, Charles Geni, North Mugirango and Alice Chae, county MP.
Governor John Nyagarama attended both events and so did Senator Okongo Mongare. According to the chairman of the funeral committee, Douglas Bosire, who is also the chief officer in the county’s department of health, all the elected leaders were invited to the harambee function.
Bosire said that letters of invitation about the harambee which was held at Guardian Hotel were dropped in their pigeon boxes in parliament and the senate respectively and therefore the question of not being notified does arise.
It is unfortunate that Nyamira leaders who were given the mandate to serve their subjects were now using their positions to build themselves economically at the expense of the electorate and development, residents lamented.
Residents led by Kefa Ongaro said the tragedy of Garissa incident was of a huge magnitude to be ignored by the leaders as they were expected to attend and assist the bereaved families without necessarily being invited but they instead chose to keep off because of their political differences with Governor Nyagarama.
He further argued that as per the Abagusii customs, enemies reconcile during the time of death but the MPs seem to be ignorant of the norm.
Following their snub, voters have now started shopping for suitable replacements saying by not attending the two functions, they had disowned people who gave them the mandate.
Issues of insecurity were also raised up during the two meetings where the Jubilee government was accused of sleeping on the job.
Nyamira county commissioner Josephine Onunga asked leaders to discard the culture of blame on matters of security and support the government in eradicating the vice.
During the mass services, university students from the county used the occasion to point out the effects of disunity among the elected leaders. The students praised Football Kenya Federation President Samson Nyamweya for bringing together the Nairobi Gusii community to raise funds to help the families of the deceased in Nairobi at Chiromo mortuary.
Led by their chairman, Duke Ombagi, the students accused  elected leaders from the county of taking much of their time in preaching hatred and divisive politics at the expense of development.
They noted that currently, Nyamira county was one of the most undeveloped counties compared to the other 46 because leaders do not work together in addressing matters of development like other counties do.
Ombagi took issue with  Senator Mongare Okongo who was present over political divisions and wrangles  between him and Governor Nyagarama.