, KISII, Kenya, Jan 17 – The Gucha Council of elders has urged the county leadership to address tensions pitting Governor James Ongwae against his deputy, Joash Maangi.
A split between the two leaders emerged on January 10, when security officers ostensibly under instructions from Ongwae stormed Maangi resident and seized county vehicles assigned to the Deputy Governor, an ardent supporter of Deputy President William Ruto and who tellingly skipped a Nyanza regional consultative forum of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report hosted in the county.
Maangi, in as statement, also said his security detail had been withdrawn.
Speaking in Ogembo town, elders pleaded with the two leaders to put aside the ongoing wrangles and serve the county.
“We have learnt the ongoing drama at the county offices, and we ask the two leaders to sit and solve the problem at once,” said James Ong’eta who led a group of elders who convened a forum to discuss the unfolding crisis.
He said tensions between the two had adversely affected service delivery in the county.
“We want to bring on board the two leaders sit down talk, and solve this problem amicably,” said Ong ‘eta.
The elders said they have supported the two leaders since their first term in office restating their commitment to support Maangi’s gubernatorial ambitions come 2022.
“Our immense support will continue till 2022 because we promised the two leaders our support. We’ll ensure our Deputy Governor has our support as the governor completes his term from office,” the elders stated in a statement read by Ong ‘eta.
The elders dismissed calls for Maangi’s resignation saying he was elected in his won right and could therefore not be forced to quit.