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Two Kenya MPs accuse each other of impersonation

By James Omoro | January 28th 2017
Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga (left) with his Kabondo Kasipul counterpart Sylvance Osele. PHOTO: FILE

One is slim, younger and a tough talking first timer in Parliament. The other is doing his second term, has a bulky frame, rarely speaks in Parliament and walks with a slight stoop and little swagger.

They come from neighbouring constituencies in Homa Bay County whose names have been confusing many people, including journalists, ever since the review and renaming of constituencies before the 2013 elections.

The younger legislator - Sylvans Osele is MP for Kabondo-Kasipul, while his elder colleague and neighbour - Joseph Oyugi Magwanga is MP for Kasipul.

During the creation of Kabondo-Kasipul from the original Kasipul-Kabondo, some politicians insisted  the name Kasipul must be retained in both constitutes, hence the birth of  Kabondo-Kasipul and Kasipul.

Now the repetition of the word Kasipul is what has caused the confusion and is being blamed for the recent spat between the two legislators.

Magwanga, the man who wants to become Homa Bay Governor claims Osele has been taking advantage of the similarity in names to take credit for his work in his constituency.

He blames Osele for the frequent mix-ups, the latest one being the rankings on the use of the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF).


Magwanga, whose constituency was declared the best in prudent use of funds, accused Osele of influencing journalists to alter records to show that he (Osele) was the MP for Kasipul.

A section of the media (not The Standard) reported that Osele was actually the MP for the winning constituency. One of the dailies has since corrected the mix-up.

Yesterday, Magwanga asked the police to investigate Osele and his constituency officials for trying to take credit for the performance of another constituency.

In a quick rejoinder, Osele laughed off the accusations and blamed the mix-up in media reports on Magwanga’s unpopularity outside Kasipul.

“Many people and journalists do not know him and they always associate me with Kasipul,” Osele said.

“I cannot take credit that does not belong to me. The problem is that most reporters do not know my colleague and they always think I am the MP for both Kabondo and Kasipul. They always mix up things because of the names of the two constituencies,” Osele said.

“I want Hon Magwanga to prove that I influenced journalists to identify me as the MP for Kasipul. I am not interested in what is happening in Kasipul. My problem is that every time journalists hear anything Kasipul, they only see Osele because my colleague is not known.”

However, Magwanga argued that there have been two attempts by some leaders from Kabondo-Kasipul to shortchange him.

Last Friday, the NGCDF Board chairman Elias Mbao ranked Kasipul Constituency number one nationally in management of the funds in the financial year 2015/2016.

Magwanga has raised complaints that some leaders from Kabondo-Kasipul impersonated and addressed journalists to claim victory for wait their had not achieved.

“I was surprised that some people are taking credit for the victory of my constituency. These are people who want to reap where they did not sow," Magwanga said.


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