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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 17 August 2014


The influential Nyachae family in Kisii wants all senior politicians who have been key players in Mzee Simeon Nyachae’s political career in the past to pave way for a new crop of leaders to to propel Kisii politics and work with Charles Nyachae as he starts to enter into the murky waters of Kisii and national politics.

Well-placed sources in the family say that the decision was driven by Mzee Nyachae himself who has accused the ageing senior politicians of being unproductive and unreliable, thus allowing Raila Odinga’s ODM to overrun Ford People in the area in the last two general elections.

Those marked for gradual retirement from the Nyachae political bandwagon include MPs Jimmy Angwenyi and Stephen Manoti, former MPs Sam Ongeri and Henry Obwocha among others.
However, the move has elicited a fightback from the ageing politicians who have decided to sabotage Nyachae’s efforts to supplant his son as the new political king of Gusiiland and re-invent Ford People to be the only political party for the community.

It was in this fightback move that the group snubbed the much publicised harambee at           Nyabioto Catholic Church last weekend presided over by Deputy President William Ruto and graced by head of the Kisii diocese Bishop Joseph Mairura.

Sources say the older politicians persuaded their supporters to keep off the function thus causing a major embarrassment to the main guests who arrived to an empty arena and had to wait for almost two hours as quickly assembled teams of mobilisers paid by Charles Nyachae combed the neighbourhood appealing to villagers to go to the venue for the harambee.

The political project to create the Constitution Implementation Commission chairman, Charles Ayieko Nyachae as the “king of Abagusii’’, though appearing to be a Ford People party affair, is actually a result of Mzee  Nyachae’s personal plea to president Uhuru Kenyatta to help his son to join active politics and work with him.

In a “scratch-my-back-I scratch-your-back’’ gesture, the former minister in the Daniel Arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki governments has offered to revenge on Raila Odinga by destroying the ODM support in Gusii land because he is still bitter that Raila’s “Kibaki Tosha” declaration in 2002 denied him the presidency.

He is never forgiving and wants to bring down Raila at all costs. He has promised Uhuru that he will deliver the community’s vote to Jubilee coalition via his party Ford People.
Mzee Nyachae is said to have pleaded with Uhuru to help him to sustain his family name in politics due to his past close working relationships with his late father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and his political mentors Moi and Kibaki.

Though yet to emerge clearly, the former minister could be playing to a historical script where with the advice of retired president Moi, the Jubilee government is trying hard to woo back regions and communities that sustained Jomo Kenyatta and  Moi regimes in power. Gusii land is one such region.

It has now been confirmed that in the arrangement, President Uhuru Kenyatta has fully embraced the CIC chairman and hosts him twice weekly at State House where they draw plans and release money for the regular activities in Kisii and Nyamira meant to win over the estimated 2 million Abagusii voters to Jubilee ahead of 2017 general elections.

That the chopper the CIC chairman uses on political errands in Gusii is hired and fuelled by the Jubilee top cream is now common knowledge.
Back in Kisii and Nyamira, Charles Nyachae is quickly assembling new faces to replace his father’s old guards whom his family accuses of having been money hungry and dishonest opportunists who have been unable to effectively tame the opposition in the area despite pocketing a lot of money from the family for the purpose.

So far, no serious faces have come up as key players in the new team though newly elected members of the National Assembly, Richard Tongi, Nyaribari Chache and Zebedeo Opore Bonchari are early pretenders to the throne around Charles.
It is instructive to note that Tongi is merely hanging on junior Nyachae’s coat for survival but the Nyachae inner circle does not value him much. They only used him to remove their perennial political nagging problem that is former area MP Chris Bichage.

In Bonchari, Opore is viewed by the Nyachae’s as a harmless nobody and also as one of their own to help them keep away opposition leaders.
It was because of their “user friendly’’ qualities that both Tongi and Opore got full and direct funding from the Nyachae family during recent by-elections. In both elections, Charles Nyachae threw caution to the wind and joined the campaign trail dishing out money through the window of his vehicle.

However, even as the machinations to make Charles the new king of the Abagusii gains top gear, many doubt his capacity to galvanise the community to talk in one voice politically.
“If you remove his father’s name and try to market the CIC chairman just as Charles Ayieko, he will have no impact or appeal. He is a paper Tiger and lacks any meaningful personality to attract any following,’’ lamented an elder from Keumbu, near Kisii town.

Many are also complaining that the obsession with having the Nyachae family dominate Gusii politics again is hurting the community members badly. They are grumbling that a current machination to push forward Charles is like forcing the community to take back spittle they emitted long ago in anger.

They point to earlier attempts through the Nyachae family driven campaign last year of “Obomo Bwo Omogusii’’ which they rejected. They vow not to entertain any repeat.

The stage is now set in the region for the rebuilding of dynastic politics which area residents. When Zachary Onyonka died, those who tried to install his son Richard Onyonka failed  and Richard had to try two times later as his own man before getting elected. A feeble attempt to try a similar game in the family of Andrew Omanga did not yield much.

Dynastic politics have, however, thrived in Kikuyuland, Luhyaland, Giriamaland, Mombasa and to some extent, in North Eastern and Embu where the Nyaga and Mbarire families have stubbornly held sway. However, this practice is quickly getting discarded as the country is rapidly entrenching democracy and rejecting monarchies of sorts.

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