CS Matiang’i declares they have major plans with Raila

FROM LEFT: Chief Administrative Secretary Ken Obura, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, Kisii Woman Rep Janet Ongera and Nyando MP Jared Okello at Achego Girls in Muhoroni, yesterday. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has said he and ODM leader Raila Odinga have big plans.

In what may signal that the Interior CS is positioning himself for a bigger office in future, he called for unity of all communities in Nyanza, saying the region must now speak in one voice going into the future.

Speaking when he presided over a funds drive in aid of Achego Girls School in Muhoroni, Kisumu County, yesterday, Matiang’i said he was a protégé of the opposition leader.

He started his speech by delivering Raila’s greetings, saying they speak regularly on critical issues that affect the country.

The CS gave his contribution of Sh600,000, Sh2 million from President Uhuru Kenyatta and Sh1 million from Raila. 

“Raila recently said I am his son. I will walk close to him as we navigate ways to help our people. I will go the direction he shows me,” said Matiang’i, who was hosted by MP Onyango K’Oyoo.

Advocated for a caucus

He hailed the unity of the Luo, Kuria and Gusii exhibited during the recent Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally in Kisii and asked residents to shun leaders who are out to divide them.

He further advocated for a caucus of all leaders in Nyanza. “For the first time, we as Nyanza have been brought together led by Raila and we can collectively address our issues as a region,” he said.

“There exists a caucus of Luo leaders led by MP James Nyikal (Seme MP). I think we should now have a single caucus of all leaders in Nyanza,” he added.

He vowed to support the handshake and the BBI, saying the initiatives have changed the way of doing things.

Matiang’i was accompanied by Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, Kisumu Governor Anyang Ny’ong’o, Nyamira Senator Okong’o Omogeni and Woman Reps Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay), Rosa Buyu (Kisumu) and Janet Ongera (Kisii).

MPs present were included Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache South), Jared Okello (Nyando) and Ben Momanyi (Borabu).

The legislators said Matiang’i was the most suited to succeed Raila as Nyanza’s political kingpin. Mr K’Oyoo described the Interior CS as a “spare wheel,” waiting to take over when the ODM leader quits active politics.

“He has demonstrated that he has what it takes to be our next political leader in Nyanza,” said K’Oyoo.

The legislators said the region was now politically locked under Raila and Matiang’i.

“If Raila says Matiang’i tosha, that is what we will follow,” said Ms Buyu.

Mr Wamalwa faulted BBI critics, saying they were opposing the President’s agenda. 

“The handshake has earned Kenya international recognition. The President is a symbol of national unity and his efforts to unite the country must be supported,” he said.

The leaders also vouched for the government’s 100 per cent transition to secondary school, with Matiang’i directing chiefs and their assistants to work with police to arrest those frustrating the policy.

“It is true there are challenges in the transition, but the government is making efforts to address them. We must ensure the transition happens as directed by the President,” the CS said.

Governor Nyong’o asked the national government to address the challenge of infrastructure to make the policy successful.

“I thank the Government for removing exams as a barrier to education in Kenya,” he said.