To some, Kisii politicians have not been playing in the superior league of national politics and remain shackled to the big ‘boys’ in the Kenyan political space. But there are signs the tide is turning.
In the last two elections, seasoned politicians from the region have thrown their weight behind various presidential hopefuls from other regions to the astonishment of the electorate.
Political pundits have in the past argued that one should work hard to get to the top of the country’s political ladder or be crowned the community’s political kingpin.
Both Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama and his Kisii counterpart James Ongwae have served the constitutional two terms. The focus now shifts on their heirs, who ostensibly will be speaking on behalf of the region.
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Since the exit of former Cabinet Minister Simon Nyachae from active politics, the region has had many upcoming politicians who have been struggling to fit into his shoes.
Seasoned politicians Kisii Senator Prof Sam Ongeri, current Chief Administrative Secretary Chris Obure and now the two Governors could want to fit into Nyachae’s shoes.
Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr Fred Matiangi, who was once a personal assistant to Nyachae has also been making inroads to the region although his position as a cabinet secretary has held him back from making political statements.
A go-getter, Matiang'i has ruffled many feathers since his appointment to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s first Cabinet and has on a numnber of occasions clarified that he was appointed to deliver on Jubilee’s manifesto and nothing less.
Whether he will be joining politics in the coming contest remains a well-kept secret within his close confidants.
The recent purge by ruling party Jubilee as well as other leading political parties to discipline rebel members has seen politicians from the region forced back to the drawing board.
Those who in the recent past have openly been showing their alliance to certain top leaders have opted to go mute as things unfold in the country's political circles.
Last week, Governor James Ongwae, Senator Sam Ongeri and Woman Representative Janet Ongera met in Nairobi with ODM leader Raila Odinga.
The three played a critical role in Gusii region in campaigning for Raila’s 2017 presidential bid.
The region has three MPs serving in key parliamentary positions; Deputy Majority Leader Jimmy Angwenyi (Kitutu Chache North), Parliamentary Service Commission member Ben Momanyi (Borabu) and Chairman Parliamentary Services and Facilities Committee Ezekiel Machogu (Nyaribari Masaba).
Dismus Mokua, a political analyst opines that the Kisii voter is very liberal and will not be chained to ethnic and tribal lords when voting. “It is now practically impossible to drive the community in one direction.”
He argued that the probability that one politician will emerge and drive the community to one position or party is almost zero.
Mokua added, “The Kisii voter takes political decisions with selfish interests in mind, politicians and parties must therefore align their interests to voters’ interest if they expect to hit the ground running.”
He went on; “That the current crop of leaders is divided is in fact good for the community.
Whichever way the elections go, members of the Kisii nation will occupy both the minority and majority benches.”