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Arati, Onyonka cut political ties over 'broken' pre-election pact

 Kisii Governor Simba Arati with Senator Richard Onyonka during a past meeting. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Kisii Senator Richard Onyonka has cut ties with Governor Simba Arati after the two disagreed over appointments.

Onyonka said that the county boss had gone against a pre-election pact that could have awarded him 25 per cent of the county government jobs.

In a consultative meeting in Kisii on Saturday, Onyonka revealed that the governor had gone against their pre-election agreement and that subsequent meetings to solve the matter had borne no fruit.

The senator said that during campaigns they agreed that he would appoint at least 25 per cent of the officials.

"There has never been a more vicious fight in Kisii politics than what we had in 2022; it was Arati and I versus them. My only worry was if Arati was going to maintain the promises he made. We had several people who could have won the seat but I decided to stick with him," said Onyonka.

Onyonka said that during campaigns, he had warned the governor not to be vindictive. "I told him that we should hold consultative meetings. He went ahead to pick the cabinet without consultations, we are not begging, we need a stake in this government," said the senator.

"I warned the governor about parading people at the Gusii Stadium but he never listened to me, civil servants are now against him and the morale to deliver has gone low," said Onyonka.

Onyonka further revealed that he has not been on talking terms with the governor for weeks.

"We must have a leadership that is honest. Nearly 400 will be retiring within a year, these are the jobs they want to share among themselves."

 Kitutu Chache South MP Anthony Kibagendi. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Kitutu Chache South MP Anthony Kibagendi said clan politics in Kisii must be respected.

"The governor must respect other leaders. His fights with staff must stop. Those with dubious papers think others never went to school. We are not interested in war. The former governor did his part; we are not ready to fight him into his retirement."

Kibagendi said that they are not ready for impeachment plans at the moment.

"We will fight for more employment opportunities at the county and national governments. The reckless transfer of staff should stop. Other governors are working with other leaders; this must be done in Kisii."

Kitutu Chache North Japhet Nyakundi noted that the recent parading of staff in the public was illegal.

"Civil servants are no longer working, they fear victimisation. Politics has been overtaken by events, let us respect those officers and even other elective leaders."

He said leaders from across the county had agreed to have sector development forums and later after documentation present the same to the governor.

Last week, the governor pointed out that he would not listen to his critics.

He accused those pointing fingers at his leadership style of trying to protect the corrupt.

"I will clean the mess; those shouting at me are against the change we yearn for. I was elected with majority votes and the only people I will listen to are voters."

He alleged that some of the elected leaders had been demanding money from him. "The money is for development."

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