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Matiang’i now loneranger – Weekly Citizen

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Interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i has parted ways with Gusii leaders led by Kisii governor James
Ongwae who had endorsed him earlier as the Abagusii community spokesman for his interference in the Bonchari constituency by-elections next week.

Fred Matiangi

Matiang’i is fronting for Jubilee’s Zebedeo Opore while Ongwae has vowed to have ODM’s Pavel Oimeke win the seat with widowed Teresa Bitutu threatening to remove her pants and go to the streets for having been conned psychologically during the burial of her beloved husband Oroo Oyioka where all and sundry assured that she was to inherit her husband’s for the seat. With a section of leaders and residents of Bonchari already accusing Matiang’i of favouring Opore, the CS finds himself in an awkward position since the by-election has put him on a collision course with Governor Ongwae and Senator Sam Ongeri.

James Ongwae

In fact, it is Ongwae who has been single-handedly propping up Matiang’i for the Gusii spokesman’s position by marshalling the support of the other elected leaders from Kisii and the council of elders which Ongwae’s government has been financing and housing at their premises. It has emerged that Matiang’i has been issuing thinly veiled threats against some leaders, warning them that they will soon face unspecified criminal and civil cases if they do not toe the line and abandon campaigns for their party candidates to support his.

Zebedeo Opore

Recently, a serious altercation ensued between the bully CS and Ongeri on phone where the elderly politician read the riot act to the Matiang’i. “I have been in government for the longest time holding very senior cabinet positions in several political regimes, you can’t threaten me,” Ongeri is said to have told the minister.Attempts by the CS to seek to clarify his position to the senator failed after Ongeri is said to have declined further engagements with
the CS until he withdraws threats against local leaders. Ongeri’s word is taken seriously and he enjoys huge following across the community.

Pavel Oimeke

Some leaders including Bogiakumu ward MCA Ishmael Bosire and Kisii county ODM organising secretary Henry Moracha have since claimed that Matiang’i was using his position to direct the police and local chiefs to intimidate the UDA and ODM candidates ahead of the by-election. “ODM and UDA are being targeted and prevented from campaigning for our candidates by government operatives who are favouring the Jubilee candidate. We can’t allow this to happen and the CS should come out clear on why his officers are disregarding our rights,” Moracha said at Gesonso Police Station.

Teresa Bitutu Oroo

The allegations came in the open after MCA for Riana ward Ariemba Moisabi who is drumming up support for the ODM candidate, was arrested last Monday after an altercation with an assistant chief at a burial ceremony. It is claimed that the assistant chief had disrupted the funeral ceremony shortly before Ariemba was called to speak and the MCA tried to snatch the microphone from him, but the chief called the police, feigning assault. Ariemba’s arrest came immediately after police raided the home of ODM candidate Teresa Oyioka and arrested five of her campaigners. The race to succeed the late Oyioka is basically a three-horse race involving ODM candidate Oimeke, Bitutu of UDA and Opore of Jubilee.

Sam Ongeri

Other candidates who are in the race include former Kisii county women rep Mary Otara, Charles Mogaka, Jonah Onkendi, David Ogega, Victor Omanwa and Erick Oigo. Following the arrest of the politicians allied to ODM and UDA candidates in the campaigns, Moracha and Bosire asked Matiang’i to restrain the police from using unnecessary force in an attempt to tilt the ground in favour of the Jubilee candidate. They questioned the selective arrests where only UDA and ODM supporters are being targeted by the police who are reportedly applying the ministry of Health Covid-19 protocol selectively.

Mary Otara

Uncertainty is rife in Bonchari as the campaigns reach home stretch and stakes are high since the handshake partners, Jubilee and ODM are locking horns in the contest. Unlike in the recent by-election in Kiamokama ward where Jubilee did not field its candidate in favour of ODM, in Bonchari both parties have sponsored candidates. Kisii is perceived to be an ODM zone and the move by Jubilee to front Opore has been attributed to a wider scheme by Matiang’i, apparently to test his popularity in the region. Initially, it was believed that the handshake parties were to join hands in the Bonchari by-election naturally.At one time, when Oimeke received the ODM ticket and Jubilee appeared undecided, pundits opined that the ruling party was opting out of the race until too late when Opore was finally given the Jubilee ticket, only a day before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission window lapsed. By then, Matiang’i was not in the picture until three weeks ago when he reportedly summoned Ongwae, Ongeri, ODM treasurer Timothy analysis Oimeke- ODM Otara- UGM Margret- MCC Matagaro- Mwanga



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