Gusii leaders endorse Matiang'i as community spokesman

Fred Matiang’i

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i who has been endorsed as the Gusii community’s spokesman.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Top elected Gusii leaders on Sunday endorsed Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i as the community’s elder and spokesman.

This was after the Abagusii Council of Elders sought to have a say on whom to anoint as the next spokesperson.

The community has been without one after the retirement of former Finance Minister Simeon Nyachae from active politics more than a decade ago.

Dr Matiang’i, who attended the closed-door meeting that lasted for close to five hours, said while the plans are good and welcome, he has to seek authority from President Uhuru Kenyatta who appointed him to the Cabinet.

The meeting took place Sunday at the Agriculture Training College in Kisii town.

Top seat

Leaders from the region have been fronting the CS for the highest seat in the country.

Analysts say the move by the elders may just be a way of preparing him for the position ahead of the 2022 General Election.

For two years now since the CS was elevated by President Kenyatta to the heart of Jubilee government, leaders have been saying that he is ripe to be the country’s President.

But all along, he has remained tight-lipped over his political plans, if any. However, leaders say the community has come of age and the CS has proved to be an exemplary public servant who deserves greater responsibilities.

Led by the elders’ council chairman, Mr James Matundura, the elders said the community has for a long time lacked direction with divided voices that have put it in bad light.

“We want to have our community spokesman. We therefore convened here today to formerly inform the Cabinet minister of our plans. We called elected leaders alongside the Interior CS and they all agreed that Dr Matiang’i takes the position,” said Mr Matundura.

Kisii Governor James Ongwae, his Nyamira counterpart Amos Nyaribo, senators Sam Ongeri (Kisii), Okong’o Omogeni (Nyamira), woman reps Janet Ongera (Kisii), Jerusha Momanyi (Nyamira) and a host of MCAs from Kisii County Assembly attended the meeting.

Consult Uhuru

“When we asked him if it was in order for him to join us as an elder and also as a community spokesperson, he told us to give him time so that he can consult his boss, President Kenyatta, first,” said Mr Matundura.

Mr Matundura said the ceremony to coronate one as an elder is often done in a structured manner and that it was not something they would want to rush.

The elders’ patron, Mr Steven Omenge, said they want the community to speak in one voice henceforth.

Mr Ongwae said the community’s unity is paramount and that they will do everything in their power as elected leaders to ensure all leaders speak in one voice.

“It is very clear that our elders have good plans for us. They plan to put us together and elevate the CS to become an elder and spokesman,” said Mr Ongwae.

Mr Nyaribo said they will not condone people who speak recklessly and brand the community in bad light.

“I have joined my brothers and sisters here for this very important consultation meeting aimed at steering our community forward,” said Mr Nyaribo.

Prof Ongeri asked those opposed to the idea of crowning the CS to come forward and table their issues.

Ms Ongera said all indications are that the CS is headed for a higher seat and asked for the community’s support.

Mr Omogeni and Ms Momanyi said they support the idea to have the Interior CS as the community’s spokesperson.

In 2018, nine Gusii MPs urged Dr Matiang'i to take up the role of the community's spokesman., bayienda@ke.nationmedia


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