Kitutu Masaba Constituency: Row on new district may spill over

Kitutu Masaba, which was made famous by firebrand politician George Anyona, will be one of the hotly contested parliamentary seats in Kisii.

It has attracted 20 hopefuls, the highest number in the region, with more still expected to join the race.

The constituency falls under the newly-created Masaba District, whose headquarters has become an emotive issue.

The constituency has two divisions – Manga and Rigoma. Residents of Manga wanted the headquarters to be at Manga while the area MP, Mr Mwancha Okioma, of Ford People, wants it at Keroka in Rigoma Division, where he comes from. The Manga residents have moved to court.

Mr Okioma, a first-term MP, rode to Parliament on the Ford-P wave that swept across Kisii when Roads and Public Works minister Simeon Nyachae was the party’s presidential candidate in 2002.

Currently, the leading parties in the area are Ford-P and ODM Kenya.

Two of the MP’s main opponents – Mr Timothy Bosire and Mr Walter Nyambati – are eyeing the ODM-K ticket. Mr Bosire, a former senior economist in the ministry of Planning, is a close associate of Lang’ata MP Raila Odinga while Mr Nyambati, a senior manager at Kenindia Insurance, is allied to Mwingi North MP Kalonzo Musyoka.

Another candidate seeking ODM-K ticket is a former Permanent Secretary Zachary Ogongo who is also allied to Mr Musyoka.

Mr Bosire has contributed immensely to development projects in the constituency. But his opponents accuse him of concentrating on national politics at the expense of the constituency. He accompanies Mr Odinga wherever he goes.

Mr Bosire, who is contesting the seat for a third time, may give Mr Okioma a run for his money.

Mr Okioma will also face opposition within Ford-P from youthful Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology lecturer Abel Matoke and Mr Nyameino Atuti, an employee of Moi University. Mr Matoke was welcomed to the party by Mr Nyachae during a recent funds drive for youth groups in the area.

Narc Kenya has attracted three candidates – Nakuru-based medic Isoe Ochoki, lawyer Nyambega Mose and Cleophas Manduku. During the party’s grassroots elections, Dr Ochoki’s camp trounced that of Mr Mose and Mr Manduku. However, the elections board ordered an arbitration.

Dr Ochoki, who runs Baraka Nursing Home, recently retired from the civil service. He has been campaigning for the Government’s takeover of the Kenya Tea Development Agency and was involved in the establishment of Gesure, Bogwendo health centres.

Mr Matoke, 31, worked at the Ford-P secretariat and is a former coordinator of Youth Agenda in Kisii.

He comes from the current MP’s area and has been involved in youth empowerment programmes in the constituency.

Mr Nyambati is contesting for the fourth time and says he is confident he will clinch the seat this time. He is credited with several projects in the constituency.

A new entrant who might spring a surprise is Mr Fred Ombui Machana, formerly based in the US where he was working in the banking industry. Mr Machana, 40, hopes to garner votes from the youth for whom he has organised several social and sporting activities.

He also launched the Machana Education Foundation, which sponsors three secondary school students from each zone.

Another strong contender who is making his debut in politics is Mr Meshack Ngare, a tax consultant. He is also rich and capable of financing a high-profile campaign but he is yet to identify his party.

Another new entrant is Mr Bill Onwong’a who comes from Mr Okioma’s Abatabori clan. He is likely to complicate matters for the MP who is being accused of introducing clan politics.

Others in the race are lawyer Shadrack Mose, Nyamira Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary Richard Kibagendi, Mr Thaddeus Matara, Mr Ezekiel Angwenyi, and Mr Humphrey Mayaka.

Mr Okioma’s opponents claim the CDF and bursary committees consist of his cronies and that students from rich families benefit from the bursaries at the expense of the poor.

Other issues likely to feature in the campaigns include roads, electricity, water, unemployment, poverty, education and low earnings from coffee and tea.

Nearly all the aspirants have been involved in development projects in the vast constituency.

If clan politics come into play, it will divide the constituency and Mr Okioma may be handed a lifeline.



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2 Responses to Kitutu Masaba Constituency: Row on new district may spill over

biggie said...

give us all Kisii constituencies breakdown thanks for your good work i will be watching you

Anonymous said...

mr Fred O machana is another cronies like the current Mps in kenya.After working through the US banking industry he stole enough money from middle class resident also stealing from his employees to benefit his campaign.WAtch out for him he'll make sure he buys votes and later not even help his brother