It's is a case of sour grapes

On Thursday June 23, 2015, Patrick Kenya, a resident of Kisumu County in the Maseno area, accused me of "preaching wine and drinking water" regarding my response to Kabage Karanja's comments on the matter of the appointment of the Governor of Central Bank.

After reading Patrick Kenya's piece, I literally failed to see how his vendetta about the Vihiga/Kisumu boundary relates to the issues Kabage and I were discussing. The history of Maseno is known to most of us: Kenya has no monopoly of knowledge on this matter. And it is a legitimate issue to raise on its own right without piggy-backing on a subject matter of "inclusivity" Kenya seems not to have much grounding in. Let me be brief on the issue of the Kisumu/Vihiga boundary on which he justifies his wrath.

All over the Republic of Kenya, boundaries have caused problems. In Kisumu County alone, there are Luos in the Ekwanda/Bwanda area, currently in Vihiga County, who would wish to be in Kisumu County. The same is the case regarding the Siaya/Kakamega county boundary in Gem.

My in-laws in Got Regea in Gem would want to be in Siaya County, but they are in Kakamega. Whenever these boundary issues have been raised in Parliament in the past, decisions have always been made to respect the former provincial boundaries as contained in the independence constitution.

Currently, however, the 2010 Constitution sets out very clearly how county boundaries are to be handled in Article 188. It does not help anybody to sensationalise these boundary issues by invoking any form of ethnic jingoism, be it from a Luo or a Luhya.

All that is required is to follow the law as prescribed in the Constitution in the event that there is a genuine case to alter a county boundary.

My stand has always been that we should encourage infrastructural development across and between counties to minimise the differences among us. We should further know that anybody can invest anywhere in this Republic. Hence boundaries should not limit our ability to create homes where our investments are.

In this regard, Maseno is a cosmopolitan area with national institutions: the University, the High School and St. Phillips Bible School run by the Diocese of Maseno North where my own father was once the principal. In all these institutions Kenyans from all walks of life live and work.

Let us encourage the spirit of cosmopolitanism rather than insular provincialism of the kind that Kenya is so passionate about.

I know that Prof Kenya tried twice to run against me as Member of Parliament for Kisumu Rural. He actually did his best in the campaigns across the constituency but on both occasions I won.

That is democracy at work. When he stood for the seat, I am sure Prof Kenya thereby accepted the existence of a legal entity then called Kisumu West District in which he was a resident qualified to contest any office as a citizen of Kenya.

At independence, a Luhyia called Tom Okello Odongo was elected to represent Kisumu Rural Constituency in Parliament: both Luos and Luhyas voted for him. In Prof Kenya's own ward around Maseno, a Luhyia represented the residents in the Kisumu County Council in 2007-2013. My conclusion is that notwithstanding the boundary which include Luhyas and Luos on both sides of the Kisumu/Vihiga divide, we have lived very well together except when a few people feel like inciting ethnic passions for narrow political gains.

I guess Prof Kenya's unsuccessful attempts to get to Parliament may explain his vitriolic outburst against me when the opportunity presented itself.