Silvanus Osoro steps up feud with Governor Simba Arati

Silvanus Osoro

 South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

The political bad blood between Kisii governor Simba Arati and South Mugirango Member of Parliament, Silvanus Osoro, has taken a new twist after the lawmaker threatened legal action against the governor citing defamation.

Mr Osoro who is also the Chief Whip of the National Assembly gave Mr Arati a two-day notice to apologise for allegedly linking him to violence, which took place in South Mugirango recently.

In the incident, people in civilian clothes and armed with rifles and pistols, stormed a rally addressed by the governor and shot at crowds injuring a number of residents.

Mr Osoro now claims that linking the incident to him was defamatory and is demanding the governor to either apologise or face court action.

Mr Osoro’s legal threats came hot on the heals of a reconciliation meeting, which took place in Nairobi under the auspices of Kisii elders led by Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu.

Although Mr Osoro attended the Nairobi event, which was boycotted by Arati on grounds that conveners of the meeting are the same ones behind a series of political violence in Kisii, he (Osoro) issued the threat to sue the governor soon after the session.

The meeting was attended by, among others, former Cabinet Minister, Prof Sam Ongeri.

The supremacy battles between the two leaders have been linked to deaths and injuries of some individuals in the county.

The two politicians’ rivalry has threatened to derail development projects in Kisii where each views the other with suspicion and contempt.

Mr Arati cries foul claiming attackers were security forces allegedly unleashed on him by powerful individuals who, according to him, are using Mr Osoro to execute an alleged wider scheme to bring him—Arati—down.

In his letter dated January 17, 2024 and signed by Advocate Adrian Kamotho, Mr Osoro claims malice on allegations he is in the alleged scheme to politically undermine his perennial nemesis, Arati, and demanded an unequivocal apology.

The letter read, ”Please take notice that Hon Silvanus Osoro Onyiego, MP, CBS (our client) on whose express instructions we proceed to address you, intends to commence rigorous legal action against you, for atrocious conduct, defamation, vilification, publication of malicious falsehoods and abominable character assassination...”

The letter asked the governor to make “an immediate retraction, of all the false and mindless statements published by yourself, which imply or impute, directly or indirectly, any derogation of our client’s character and reputation, a written, verbal, unconditional and unreserved apology through the same media channels you voraciously utilised to spread blatant falsehoods and defamatory material regarding our client.”