The confusion caused by a curse attributed to late cabinet minister James Nyamweya may have returned to haunt the Nyaribari clan because their divisions over the candidate to succeed James Ongwae for the Kisii county gubernatorial seat come the 2022 general election are growing. During the last general election, Simeon Nyachae’s son Charles Nyachae was shortchanged by former Kisii senator Chris Obure to drop his ambitions for the gubernatorial seat in his favour, but they lost terribly to James Ongwae from the Abagetutu clan.
The governor who was defending his seat on the ODM party ticket lost all the nine parliamentary seats but managed to bring on board his deputy Joash Maangi, Senator Sam Ongeri and women representative Janet Ong’era and a few members of the county assembly. Due to the political confusion from the late Nyamweya’s curse, three clans from the region – the Kamba Nane, Botondo and Bosigisa, have regrouped to break their silence over the vow by the dead Nyamweya that the region cannot rule for 40 years. The aggrieved clans have a total registration of 90,000 voters against their Boguche counterparts who have less than 30,000 registered voters but the curse with which they have been living for the last 40 years has been their major undoing. The late Nyamweya was trounced by Andrew Omanga as the larger Nyaribari MP and to date, even his own prodigal son, George Nyamweya, has been trying the area parliamentary and senate seat to no success.
Political schemers from the region were taken aback recently when Charles joined sacked Kenya Ports Authority chief executive officer Daniel Manduku, where he asked the gathering to support him because “he will be coming back for more consultations”. Local leaders were left mesmerized over his move to support Manduku, who is not associated at all with the former area MP, the late Hezron Manduku, because he was born, and brought up in Njoro, Nakuru county but resides in Nyaribari Masaba. After Nyamweya, the Nyaribari clan was to be divided into Nyaribari Masaba and Nyaribari Chache where Ongeri went on to exchange the Nyaribari Masaba parliamentary seat with the late Manduku for 20 years after Omanga had reigned for 15 years. Then voters turned the baton to Elijah Moindi who led for four and half years, thus the expiry of the 40 years where former provincial administrator Ezekiel Machogu worked against all odds to emerge victor during the last general election from the little known National Alliance Party of Kenya.
With the next general election fast approaching, candidates interested in the coveted seat have been pulling up their sleeves with Machogu, the first time Nyaribari Masaba MP, and his neighbour from the Boguche clan Ongeri making efforts to crisscross the expansive county to woo voters to their side But the other three clans want the duo to swallow their pride and support them because they have been benefiting from the previous regimes with the current one rewarding them with two senators, Ongeri and nominated senator Millicent Omanga and two members of the national assembly, Ezekiel Machogu – Nyaribari Masaba and Richard Tong’i- Nyaribari Chache and a number of MCAs to the Kisii county assembly. As things stand, the only candidate from the three clans who has declared interest is Rachael Otundo who has been attending funerals, churches and other social places seeking support from the electorates. Other candidates eyeing the coveted seat include Maangi from Bomachoge clan who has support across the county, Richard Onyonka (Bogetutu clan), Manson Oyongo (Bogirango clan), Chris Obure, Janet Ong’era, Simba Arati and Lumumba Nyaberi from the Bobasi clan.
Ongwae is yet to declare his choice of a candidate since they are presently at loggerheads with his deputy with whom they were elected on an ODM ticket but is supporting William Ruto’s wing of the ruling Jubilee coalition. It is interesting to note that Nyamweya’s curse worked out in Nyaribari Masaba where he broke his political campaign pot at Ibacho and Kiamokama playing grounds unlike in Nyaribari Chache which is near Kisii town. Senior Nyachae who was a provincial administrator, just like Machogu, came in with money bags, and managed to win voters for 15 years before he was trounced by little known Robert Monda, who later lost, and returned the leadership mantle to the current MP Richard Tong’i, of the Boguche clan that is serving his second term. Boguche clan have a common understanding where they present as many candidates as possible, to the electorate, but they make a resolution at the eleventh hour as a political strategy to beat the other clans, With time, it will be a matter of political calculations as to who between Machogu and Ongeri will be on the ballot for the gubernatorial race to face the other clans given that money and political influence will enable them to win, or lose in the battle, which is attracting candidates as year continue turning into months and weeks.