NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 24 – A section of leaders drawn from the larger Kisii region have hinted at forming their own political party ahead of the 2022 General Election.
The endeavour by the leaders comes against the backdrop of spirited efforts by politicians in the country to realign themselves so as to have a superior bargaining power with top presidential contenders in a bid to be part of the next government.
The 17 lawmakers drawn from across the political divide in the Abagusii region spoke at the end of a two-day retreat on Friday. They committed to champion the region’s interest.
Led by Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonkla, the leaders the party will help them secure the community’s interest.
“Leaders from Mt.Kenya, Western and the coastal region are pushing to have their own national outfits and we as the people from the Kisii region we will not be left behind. We will now have a vehicle that will help us negotiate with those who want to lead this country,” he said.
Onyonka, currently a FORD Kenya Party member, noted that the new political movement will be ready and willing to work with leaders who will have their interests at heart.
“We will welcome and listen to leaders who will guarantee us of our region’s economic growth. Our unity of purpose is clear,” he said.
He underscored that the Gusii community people will not be bystanders in the ongoing political realignments in the country but shareholders.
“Our support will now be aligned to our political and economic interest,” he said.
The leaders announced planned meetings with local leaders and professionals with the aim of expanding their support base.
“We intend to meet our professionals and all the stakeholders in the region so that as the people from the Kisii Community we get to confront the 2022 election as a team,” said Borabu MP Ben Momanyi.
The leaders asked Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi to spearhead the talks and help them identify and streamline the region’s political and economic interests.
South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro, an ardent supporter of Deputy President William Ruto, and Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati who professes loyalty to ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga said the region’s unity is paramount.
The two leaders, who engaged in a fist fight in February during a funeral in Kisii, committed to discharge their mandate in pursuit of the region’s unity without fear of favor.
“As elected leaders from the Gusii community we will be failing in our collective responsibility if we do not offer leadership at this critical point in time and history,” said Osoro.
“Let us be coexist peacefully because without peace we stand to lose as a community and a country,” Arati said.
Other leaders included Jimmy Angwenyi (Kitutu Chache North), Professor Zadoc Ogutu (Bomachoge Borabu), Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West), Jerusha Momanyi (Nyamira), Ezekiel Machogu (Nyaribari Masaba), Shadrack Mose (Kitutu Masaba), Joash Nyamoko (North Mugirango), Vincent Kemosi (West Mugirango), Innocent Obiri (Bobasi), Alfah Miruka (Bomachoge Chache) and nominated Senator Millicent Omange.
The scramble for votes ahead of the 2022 polls continues to gather pace each passing day with presidential hopefuls crisscrossing the country to consolidate their support base.
With Kisii and Nyamira counties having a cumulative 825, 433 registered voters, the region’s leaders are keen to use the numbers to negotiate a seat at the table in the next government with the presidential hopefuls challenged to gice commitments.
The region which is perceived to be an ODM stronghold saw its grip loosened in the 2017 polls after the Jubilee Party secured a substantial number of votes.
Deputy President William Ruto who has fashioned his presidential campaign on the hustler narrative and the bottom-up economic model has on several occasions toured the region to sell his agenda.
Through his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Party, Ruto has opposed the formation of ethnic parties noting that they only serve to enrich a few individuals.