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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Nyaribari MP risks recall for skipping burial sessions

Residents of Nyaribari Chache have accused their MP Richard Tongi of alleged absence from the constituency when he is needed to guide in projects identification and implementation.
Tongi has come under heavy criticism for his failure to address issues affecting residents and only choosing to send his representatives who are ill-informed.
 James Masese and Naftaly  Kegengo claimed that the first term MP had not only failed to involve residents in initiation of proposed new projects but has also neglected the projects started by his predecessors Simeon Nyachae, Robert Monda and Chris Bichage.
The duo threatened to mobilise constituents to collect signatures to recall him from parliament for gross incompetence.
Kegengo cited a four-storey tuition block at Nyamagwa SDA Primary School which he said was falling apart since the MP has failed to allocate funds to complete it.
The project was started by Monda in 2010 through CDF and the ministry of Education infrastructure funds where both kitties pumped in Sh4.5 million and Sh800,000 respectively which funds were used to erect the skeleton for eight classrooms on a four storey platform.
Kegengo said that efforts by the school community in appealing to Tongi to have the project completed have fallen on deaf ears and the matter was made worse by the MP’s visit to the area last year where he promised to advise his CDF team to allocate Sh800,000 to roof the block but the funds were not forthcoming.
Already his political opponents led by Zheer Jhanda have faulted the MP for failure to participate in parliamentary proceedings and initiate development projects in the area and the dissent among the electorate is threatening to unsettle the youthful MP who has yet to consolidate his support in the area.
Jhanda recently claimed that the MP is among the members of parliament recently reported not  to have uttered a word in parliament and questioned his role as the people’s representative.
Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony of a health centre funded by the Kisii county government at Nyangeni in Birongo ward recently, Jhanda said that it was sad that Tongi had abdicated in his responsibilities due to his failure to  initiate development projects in the area and appealed to Governor James Ongwae to come forth and rescue the constituency.
Jhanda contested the Nyaribari Chache seat in the last general election but lost to Chris Bichage before the latter’s victory was overturned by the High Court triggering a by-election in December 2013 when Tongi defeated Bichage.
 “I withdrew from the parliamentary race in the by-election and rallied behind Tongi in the hope that as a youthful leader he had the energy to deliver development but he has disappointed me since he has become dormant even in parliament,” he said amid cheers from the public.
Masese on his part accused Tongi for perennial absenteeism from the constituency where he only appears when either Uhuru Kenyatta or his deputy William Ruto or the CIC chairman Charles Nyachae are visiting the region.
In a recent requiem mass for the Garissa University terrorist attack victims at Gusii Stadium, the MP failed to attend even as all the Kisii county leaders were present prompting bitter mourners to boo when Kitutu South MP Richard Onyonka presented Tongi’s apologies and donation of Sh10,000.
Three students from Nyaribari Chache were among the victims and the matter came to a head when his representative David Nyantari was shouted down at a burial for one of the students at Nyamware in Keumbu ward.
Tongi’s condolences of Sh5000 were rejected as residents of  Nyamware were incensed at his absence because the area was his stronghold in the last election.
Masese who hails from Ibeno ward in Tongi’s Boguche backyard termed him as a let down to the constituency whose track record bar was set so high by his predecessors for him to reach.
He said that all former MPs including former ministers James Nyamweya, Andrew Omanga, Simeon Nyachae and Monda were patient and always had time for constituents besides initiating projects even with the absence of CDF.
He said that Tongi had not only neglected the constituency but also had perfected that art of lip service where giving empty promises and his know it all attitude has been the order of the day.
“He recently promised to give a bus each to eight secondary schools in the constituency in August last year to boost academic results but none has been delivered. He recently resurfaced at Nyamagwa Secondary School and made yet another promise to allocate Sh4 million to the school to help the buy a bus,” he claimed.
The other schools which were promised the elusive buses include Nyaguta, Masongo, Otamba, Bobaracho, Kirwa, Ibeno and Birongo.
A bus costs up to Sh7 million and it was not clear how the MP was to source for the funds since funds for the education vote in the CDF are limited to bursaries and infrastructure.
The constitution gives leeway for the electorate to recall an elected leaders if they meet threshold and it remains to be seen how the dissenting voices of Nyaribari Chache would approach the issues even as they put their MP on notice.
When contacted, the MP he will only be available during the recess times. Former Nyamagwa SDA Primary  School chairman Jared Motieri said the school is yet to be completed four years down the line. Over 500 pupils have since been affected in the public institution and Motieri suggested it to be turned into a community library.