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MP wears cloak of justice after brazen fistfight at burial in Kisii

By Brian Otieno | February 7th 2021

South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro (in black) fights with Dagoreti North MP Simba Arati. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

I did not see Sylvanus Osoro–the Mhesh for South Mugirango–around Bunge this past week. I caught up with him at the Jubilee Party headquarters in Pangani where he had gone to defend Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura, who is facing expulsion from the party over disloyalty.

“I am here, not as a member of the party, but in my capacity as an advocate of the High Court,” Osoro told the party’s disciplinary committee on Thursday.

I viewed the MP as an attention-seeker using Mwaura’s predicament to chase clout, especially having watched him and his Dagoretti North colleague Simba Arati shamelessly brawl for their masters’ approval at a funeral on Monday. All the same, I was interested to see whether his lawyerly alter-ego would be more sensible than the fighter.

Osoro started emphatically, making arguments that earned lengthy responses from the committee's chairperson. He was convincing all present that despite lacking in brawn–having lost the fight–he had the brains. Those of us ignorant in legal matters lost ourselves in contemplative gazes to conceal our cluelessness.

Osoro’s presence at the hearing seemed like a plan to have his name expunged from the National Cohesion and Integration Commission’s list of shame, a tag he and Arati had secured on Wednesday for their public display of violence.

But his plan failed. As soon as the serious stuff started, Osoro went mute, leaving his fellow lawyers to do all the work. His silence lasted the rest of the session.

As the hearing proceeded, I wondered if the first-time Mhesh would have been better off sitting among colleagues who had shown up to give Mwaura moral support instead of camping by his side.

Osoro’s presence made for a tight squeeze. Perhaps he hoped someone would offer him the floor as a seat, but in lieu of that he opted for a spot where the camera lenses lingered.

In the end, we forgot that he had spoken. All we could think of was his and Arati’s dishonourable actions that had landed them in the NCIC's Black Book.

But it was not the first time Osoro was trying to shake off perceptions. On Wednesday, during a TV interview, he shamelessly bragged that he had won Monday’s fistfight.

... mwenzangu akanishika shati… nikapiga yeye ngumi… mtu akanishika shati… nikaanguka,” the Mhesh proudly said. (Simba was no better. He called in live to issue an ‘I am sorry but not sorry’ non-apology).  

South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro (in black) fights with Dagoreti North MP Simba Arati. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Everyone, including his colleagues in a committee sitting I attended that Wednesday, thought he had lost the fight. During the afternoon session, one Mhesh greeted her colleagues and demanded to be greeted back lest she would “do to them what Arati had done to Osoro”. Another hailed the Dagoretti North man as a 'gold-belt', not black-belt, he insisted, champion of karate.

Osoro should probably try to convince his fellow wahesh of his victory before lying to the whole country that he won. Had the funeral brawl been a boxing match, Arati would have scored a knockdown point.

But for what it’s worth, his colleagues from the said committee thought the two fighters were an embarrassment to the rest of them.

After Mwaura’s disciplinary hearing, Arati declined overtures by his client’s supporters to address the press. It was surprising that a man who fought another over a microphone would skip the chance to have four all for himself.

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