Governor Natembeya no-show at Azimio’s Trans Nzoia rally

Raila in Tranz Nzoia - Kitale

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya party leader Raila Odinga second (left) and Democratic Action Party of Kenya leader Eugene Wamalwa (left), during a rally in Kitale town, Trans Nzoia County. Area Azimio governor, George Natembeya, skipped the rally.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

Trans Nzoia Governor George Natambeya on Sunday gave the anti-Ruto rally of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya in his county a wide berth.

Mr Natembeya was elected on the Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) ticket, an Azimio affiliate party, but failed to even send his deputy Philomena Kapkoy forcing Saboti MP Caleb Hamisi to play host.

The county boss was represented by his economic advisor Joshua Werunga at the meeting attended by Raila Odinga, Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, Wiper boss Kalonzo Musyoka, George Wajackoyah of the Roots Party, Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) leader Eugene Wamalwa, former Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya, National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi, Senate Deputy Minority Leader Enoch Wambua, Senate Whip Ledama Olekina, Edwin Sifuna (Nairobi) and Godfrey Osotsi (Vihiga).

Other leaders who accompanied Mr Odinga were MPs: Caleb Amisi (Saboti), Babu Owino (Embakasi East), Samuel Atandi (Alego Usonga), Peter Salasya (Mumias West), Dick Maungu (Luanda), Kakai Bisau (Kiminini) among others.

The Trans Nzoia protest rally began at Christ the King Catholic Church- Mitume before proceeding for a public rally at the Kitale town centre.

The absence of Mr Natembeya did not augur well with leaders like Mr Olekina and Mr Osotsi who asked him to stop begging for development from Kenya Kwanza administration saying it is guaranteed in the law.

“My brother Natembeya, we have been with you to Narok and we worked together to finish insecurity there but with this habit of always travelling, you have forgotten that you're a governor. Now you are begging for development from this Kenya Kwanza. Trans Nzoia residents are waiting for you to implement what you promised them during the campaigns," said the Narok Senator.

Mr Natembeya becomes the first Azimio governor to skip the anti-Ruto rallies in their backyards. In Kisii and Kisumu, governorS Simba Arati and Prof Anya Nyong'o, respectively, attended the meetings and on Saturday in Kakamega, Fernandes Barasa was also present.

"The issue of visiting various government offices to lobby for projects should stop. I am shocked today because I thought governor Natembeya is a brave person. I didn't know that he is a coward," said Senator Osotsi.

Some of the Azimio governors who have attended the anti-Ruto rallies include; Simba Arati (Kisii), Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay), Anyang Nyong’o (Kisumu), Ochilo Ayacko (Migori), James Orengo (Siaya) among others.

Although Governor Natembeya had said he welcomes the Azimio bigwigs to his county for the rallies, he says that he will continue to work with President Ruto’s administration for the sake of development. He argues that after the Supreme Court verdict, the opposition side exhausted all the available options constitutionally.

“For us, we need to focus on development, support the government, and support the President. I am not going to defect, I am going to support the President, the government,” said Governor Natembeya in an interview.

However, he warned the Azimio leaders who are trooping to Kenya Kwanza in the name of development saying that it is guaranteed in the Constitution regardless of political affiliation.

“I have not ditched Azimio, sycophancy and defection are primitive politics. If you defect to Kenya Kwanza, you are going to join the queue from far away. And who told you that you can only get development when in the governing council,” he had added.