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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Uhuru revamps Nyachae for crucial 2017 poll

Fury has greeted the latest parastatals appointments from Abagusii community after it emerged that all those picked are immediate relatives of former chief secretary and cabinet minister Simeon Nyachae.
The problem has been complicated by grumblings from a powerful clique of pro-Jubilee lobbyists from the larger Gusii community led by Sam Ongeri, that a proper, more representative list they had compiled was trashed at the last minute on the intervention of Simeon Nyachae and his son Charles Nyachae who replaced them with relatives.
It is said Uhuru Kenyatta is out to establish his own team in the region politics rotating around Nyachae independent to that his deputy William Ruto in Gusiiland. The scheme was hatched before a recent fundraiser in aid of Seventh Day University in Ngong where Uhuru was hosted by the Nyachae family where the old man contributed Sh5 million. Ruto was present but in his speech, Nyachae never recognised his presence but only said he will back Uhuru 2017 and come 2022 events will take shape.
The move has left Charles, the Constitution Implementation Commission chairman with egg on the face by coming out as a major proponent of nepotism.  Critics warn that his open quest to become Kisii county governor in 2017 might see him select family members and relatives for major jobs.
Many have pointed out that the government’s action on Gusii in the skewed appointments is a big lesson on how not to win political support from non-Jubilee regions and communities.
In what many see as scandalous development, all Gusii appointees are carefully selected direct relatives of the Nyachae family.
In this week’s appointments, his son Kenneth Bitange Nyachae serves on the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Board, daughter: Judy Nyachae, Export Processing Zone Board, niece:  Violet Omambwa, Lake Victoria South Water Services Board, Nephew:  Christopher Ayienda, New Kenya Co operative Creameries Board, and another nephew:- Samuel Nyanchama, energy regulatory commission board.
Similarly, the other recent prominent appointees from the community were relatives notably:  Bitange Ndemo, PS – brother-in-law, Walter Nyambati, nephew: - chairman Jomo Kenyatta Foundation, Henry Obwocha, Ford People chairman related to Nyachae network.  The Kenyatta International Convention Centre chairman Omingo Magara is rumoured has roots  in the larger Nyachae.
There are other interesting appointments diagnosed as representing the community which are equally products of bias and nepotism.
Walter Nyambati is the uncle of Otachi who shares the same law firm with his cousin Ogeto. In the mix is Henry Obwocha who comes from the same clan network of Abasamaro. Otachi’s mother hails from Gesima where Nyambati’s clan dominates. That is how he represented him in the last election petition where Nyambati protested his loss in the Kitutu-Masaba parliamentary race.
Because of hidden blood relations, Magara’s politics has always revolved around the Nyachae family.  No wonder after starting off on a Ford Kenya ticket in a by-election following the death of his stepbrother Enock Magara, he quickly switched to Ford-People in the 2002 general elections to support Nyachae who was the party’s  presidential candidate that year.
Magara who is also chairman of the Centre for Multi-Party Democracy is to the Nyachae family what the other son Lee Nyachae, Son of Grace Nyachae is: - a valued stepson. Courtesy of help from Mzee Nyachae, Lee is a beneficiary of many lucrative contracts.
This scandal of selecting the Nyachae family web to give government jobs to the exclusion of other more deserving and qualified sons and daughters of Abagusii comes out provocatively to the entire community and reveals how deeply the cancer of nepotism has entrenched in society.
A cross section of Abagusii opinion leaders who spoke to the press have warned that those who conspired to reactivate blatant nepotism that always revolved around the Nyachae family are enemies of the community.
They said that members of the community are today more enlightened and will not be duped to support skewed political moves aimed at hoodwinking them. They wondered how the Uhuruto government is easily being misled to repeat the mistakes of past governments of Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel Arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki who only interacted with the Abagusii community through the Nyachae family.
They point out how in the Jubilee cabinet appointments two years ago, Fred Matiang’i, another Mzee Nyachae nephew and personal assistant of many years from South Mugirango was picked on Nyachae’s lobbying and presented as a resident of Borabu.
In Nyamira, another Nyachae relative and protégé John Nyagarama after winning the governorship, has turned the county chaotic through allegedly employing relatives and endless procurement frauds.
Nyagarama is a brother-in-law of Simeon Nyachae as he is married from Ndemo family, a sister of Nyachae’s first wife.  The people are up in arms. They cannot support appointments that are meant to enrich only one family to their detriment.
Leaders who sought anonymity blamed the president and his deputy for being clueless and allowing wrong advice to mess up hiring of public servants who should depict the true face of Kenya and true regional balance. They urged them to take the example  Moi who kept a keen watch on all issues thus was able to remain firmly in power for 24 years.
They wondered whether the latest move by Charles and his father to appoint relatives was the reason why the CIC chairman had been criss-crossing Gusiiland in recent years calling for Abagusii unity. They noted that his unity calls are to herd the people together to use them to bargain and trade for favours and benefit for their family.