Stakes are high for hopefuls seeking to represent Borabu Constituency, Gusii’s wealthiest region and home for most influential families.
Before Kenya’s independence, Borabu Constituency was a White settler’s land and is now home to several big shots from Gusiiland in politics, civil service, corporate governance, and business.
The family of the late Gusii kingpin Simeon Nyachae has huge tracts of land in the region, Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i’s home is also located there alongside his younger brother John Omambia who is now a commissioner with the Teachers Service Commission.
Solicitor General Ken Ogeto, Kenya Commercial Bank’s Chief Executive Joshua Oigara, Kisii Governor James Ongwae and his Nyamira counterpart Amos Nyaribo, the late Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama, nearly all MPs from Gusii region (both current and former), and all the wealthiest and most influential business people from the region have affluent homes and chunks of agricultural land in Borabu Constituency.
All would be keen on the legislator who will take care of their interests.
Five contestants are seeking to succeed MP Ben Momanyi who is now focusing on the Nyamira governorship race.
They are businessman Patrick Osero, Dr Nyandoro Kambi, Josephine Nyarera, Abeni Rogena-Sonko, and Jared Siso.
Osero has unsuccessfully sought the parliamentary seat since 2002.
Dr Kambi, an advocate of the High Court, has also unsuccessfully fought for the parliamentary seat for close to 15 years now.
He will be running for the seat on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ticket.
The lawyer has cut out himself as a friend of the entire Gusii community, especially after he took up a personal initiative to rescue Shabana Football Club that was on a verge of relegation to the lower tier FKF league from the National Super League.
He is the current chairman of the club and the major funder of the outfit alongside other well-wishers and sponsors.
Ms Nyarera, the only female contestant in the race, is fighting for her space in politics.
Even though she has switched ambitions for two seasons to vie for both the constituency seat and a Woman MP post, she has now reset her focus on the Borabu seat which she says will be hers for the taking.
“Despite the fact that I am a woman listing for a battle with the men, I am sure a majority of women folk will consider me for the job, especially taking into consideration that I have vied many times and I am most experienced in terms of leadership,” Nyarera says.
Rogena-Sonko, who also has been on the ballot since 2013, is hopeful that the Borabu seat will be his for capturing.
Rogena has been running silent campaigns across the constituency since 2017 when he was defeated by Momanyi, with his key motive being to endear himself to the people.
Sonko, as he is popularly known, has been funding students from the constituency as a way of demonstrating his goodwill for the constituents, besides sponsoring development projects.
Siso, who also wants to vie for the Borabu seat, says he wants to change the area to be more vibrant.
“I am confident given the opportunity, Borabu will be better than it is now,” Mr Siso said.