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Elder Nyachae breaks silence on Kisii politics

By Eric Abuga and Stanley Ongwae | September 6th 2016
Kisii Diocese Bishop Joseph Mairura consoles former Cabinet minister Simeon Nyachae during the burial of his first wife, Esther Nyachae. Nyachae has endorsed ongoing Gusii unity talks to foster development and urged the community to back the Jubilee government. (PHOTO: DENISH OCHIENG'/ STANDARD)

Former Cabinet minister Simeon Nyachae has endorsed ongoing Gusii unity talks to foster development and urged the community to back the Jubilee government.

For the first time since retiring from politics nine years ago, Mr Nyachae ventured into the subject, saying the Gusii community must unite and rally behind the Government.

Nyachae said his support for President Uhuru Kenyatta stemmed from a long-standing relationship between his father, the late Senior Chief Musa Nyandusi, and the country's first President Jomo Kenyatta's family.

Speaking at the burial of his first wife, Estheri Nyaboke, in Nyosia village in Nyaribari Chache, Kisii, yesterday,  Nyachae called on Kisii politicians to shun divisive politics and instead concentrate on the social and economic agenda of the community.

"Despite retiring from politics, I will not cease from talking about Gusii politics. All politicians must work as a team. We spent a lot of time putting the community together," said Nyachae.

"We must start listening to our leaders and learn to accommodate divergent opinions from every other person. We must not indulge too much in politics. Everybody has a democratic right to support the candidate of his/her choice and we respect that," said Nyachae.

Nyachae spoke after Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka made conciliatory remarks that evoked memories of the once fierce political rivalry between his father, the late Zachary Onyonka, and Nyachae.

The late Onyoka, who hailed from the Kitutu clan, and Nyachae who comes from the Nyaribari clan, fought bitter political supremacy wars that led to sharp political lines between the two clans that lasted years.

The President and his deputy William Ruto were expected at the burial but did not attend. Uhuru's older sister, Christina Pratt, read Uhuru's speech eulogising the late Nyaboke whom he described as a dedicated Christian.

"It is a huge loss for the family and the church where the late Nyaboke served with dedication. She is among the few mothers who ensured that her children were well groomed for service to society," said Uhuru.

Leaders who attended the burial were Kutui Senator David Musila, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i, Central Bank chairman Mohamed Nyaoga, Kenya Commercial Bank MD Joshua Oigara and former Roads Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau.

Others were Kisii Governor James Ongwae and his Nyamira counterpart John Nyagarama, senators Chris Obure and Janet Ongera (nominated), Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi and a host of local MPs.

The rivalry between Jubilee and the Opposition CORD came into play after Senator Obure backed Nyachae's call for Gusii unity and support for the Government.

"I am the chairman of ODM in Kisii but I want to be categorical in calling for the community's unity and support for the Government. The community will benefit greatly if we support the national government," said Mr Obure.

But Ms Ongera, who spoke to The Standard later on, differed with Obure, saying nobody should try to coerce the community to join Jubilee.

"Obure is not the ODM branch chairman so he should not try to force the community to join Jubilee," said Ongera.

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