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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 19 October 2014


Charles Nyachae, the chairman of the Constitutional Implementation Commission, recently turned a harambee function at Gionseri Girls Secondary School in Kisii county into a public forum to magnify his calls for Abagusii political unity.
In the function which was well attended, including drawing such VIP political leaders like Deputy President William Ruto, senators Chris Obure (Kisii ODM) and Janet Ong’era (nominated – ODM) and area governor James Ongwae,  Nyachae belaboured his message of Gusii political unity and working closely with the government of the day if the area is to realise development and harmony.
His clarion call was coming at the backdrop of statistics showing that in the last general elections, the community voted over 75pc for the opposition and mainly for Raila Odinga. Other voters scattered their votes between former ruling party Kanu and Ford People that belong to Nyachae’s retired politician father Simeon Nyachae.
The unity calls are raising eyebrows at a time when the Jubilee government top leadership has stepped up campaigns to win over Gusiiland (Kisii and Nyamira counties including the Abagusii diaspora community) to its side from the opposition Cord’s political iron grip.
The Jubilee campaign has taken the shape of trying to rebuild Ford People, through junior Nyachae, to end Raila dominance in the area. At times, it has appeared to be a direct pursuit by Jubilee itself to invade the area.
Others have been deputy governor Joash Maangi, former assistant ministers Omingo Magara and Richard Onyonka.
The latest and most surprising entrant in this campaign is Ong’era.
It is now emerging that Junior Nyachae’s rising chorus of “Abagusii political unity” is a well choreographed and financed public relations plot to attack and destroy Cord’s dominance and influence in the area while at the same time, hoodwink the community return to and rebuild Ford People to help in reviving and serving the Nyachae family’s wider political and business empire and interests which crumbled following elder Nyachae’s disastrous crashing out of bigtime politics seven years ago.
On the one hand, Junior Nyachae is under immense pressure from Jubilee top leadership to deliver the entire Abagusii community to the ruling coalition away from Raila Odinga as a pre-condition for their political and financial help which he and his ageing father have been pleading for from State House. This he has been directed must be achieved early enough to enable TNA and URP retain power in 2017 elections.
On the other hand, the CIC chairman is being nagged by his father: a former influential minister under Daniel  Moi regime and earlier on, a powerful provincial administration oligarch during President Jomo Kenyatta’s regime to work overdrive to revive the family’s name and control of Abagusii politics. Close family sources say that Mzee Nyachae is bitter in retirement that his family legacy is in tatters unlike those of Kenyatta, Moi, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and Moses Mudavadi, all whom he considers to be his political peers.
But there is heavy resistance underneath to this as the younger Nyachae campaign due to his family history. Instructively, his grand father, the late Mzee Musa Nyandusi was a colonial chief and home guard; part of elite Africans hired and lavished by brutal British colonial administrators to terrorise and muzzle fellow natives for social, economic and political control. Indeed, it was in recognition of Musa Nyandusi good work in controlling the Abagusii for British manipulation and exploitation that his famous son was hand-picked and hired into the authoritarian provincial administration without any meaningful academic qualifications and lavished with British training and rapid promotions to help shape and protect the post colonial government not to be taken over by true freedom fighters.
When the Abagusii community ditched Ford People and Simeon Nyachae into political oblivion in preference for Raila, they were in essence ridding from their midst vestiges of colonialism and agents of economic and political exploitation in exchange for  progressive, pro-people politics espoused by Raila and other social democrats in Kenya.
It is this reality that Charles Nyachae is up against with the assistance of former ruling party Kanu crown princess feared to be keen on rebuilding the old socio-political and economic order in the country in which his father Mzee Nyachae was a key player. The language of “communal unity” which the CIC boss is reciting all over Gusiiland today is incidentally the language President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto are reciting across the country at every public forum.
Interestingly, at the height of Kanu dictatorship regional (tribal) chiefs (including Simeon Nyachae), made this (communal unity song) their clarion call and often enforced it through victimisation and brutalisation of opponents.
And while their communities got together through this “forced communal inity”, the tribal chiefs would resort to auctioning entire communities to State House for personal and family favours which included lucrative business deals, appointments of the individual auctioneer to the cabinet and additional appointments of his family members, relatives and cronies to lucrative government senior positions while the rest of the “controlled community” members were abandoned to their devices as collateral damage.
Similarly, talk across Gusiiland and into the diasporas is that the Nyachae family was most notorious in the old Kanu politics of using and exploiting their community while suppressing those independent enough to ask questions and those with divergent views to the official line of the Kanu top command. 
Many are asking why this notion of “communal unity” as being re-engineered by Charles Nyachae never benefitted the entire community or brought development during those many years and why anybody believes it can be different today.
An old retired political leader from Marani Hills (the cradle of the Abagusii community) told this writer that Kisii people are much wiser and alert today and may not allow themselves to be tricked back into an old fashioned  political trap of the discarded Nyachae family again. He added that Simeon Nyachae was just lucky to have ridden on the colonial infrastructure and the Kanu dictatorship which no longer exist to help his son re-invent the wheel. Today, he added the community loves and cherishes democracy, freedom and healthy competition and should not be dragged back into retrogressive politics.
Other residents who talked to the press have counselled the CIC chairman to go slow on his Jubilee project since it will flop.
According to them, the syndrome of being close to the government to get development is both a lie and an extremely unconstitutional position since all Kenyans are entitled to development projects as properly planned by state and county institutions and parliament in order of priority and availability of funds.
They challenged Nyachae to quit his CIC job if he wants to join politics, a delicate game he does not understand neither did his father and reminded him that in diversity, Kisii people are working in harmony without a problem and that the talk of disunity is the figment of his own imagination.
They accused him of being incapable of serving the public good hence his disastrous performance at the CIC where he has supervised over the mutilation of the constitution instead of ensuring proper and full implementation.
In anger, they are asking: - If he has no wisdom and capacity to set up a family and home at 60 years of age, where does he get the wisdom to unite the Abagusii? Who cheated him that Kisiis are not united? Whom does he want to speak for? About What? For whose gains?

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