Arati trounces Machogu and Osoro in political duel over Monda impeachment

Kisii Governor Simba Arati. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Political Supremacy between Kisii Governor Simba Arati, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu and National Assembly Majority Whip Silvanus Osoro is shaping up with the impeachment of Kisii Deputy Governor Robert Monda being a major score for the governor.

The impeachment of Monda by Senators who found him guilty of all the four counts brought against him was a major win for the governor who had fallen out with his deputy who was now openly associating with Machogu and Osoro, political rivals to Arati.  

The deputy governor faced charges of gross violation of the constitution, abuse of office, gross misconduct and crimes under national law, which the Senate confirmed. 

Arati, Machogu and Osoro have been involved in political contests for the last year with their supporters engaging in fights and shouting matches during political events and funerals with Monda’s decision to work with the two leaders rattling the governor and his supporters.

Cracks in the relationship between Arati and Monda broke out in the open last November when the deputy governor hosted Senator Richard Onyonka, Kisii County MP Doris Aburi, Kitutu Chache North MP Japheth Nyakundi and Nyaribari Masaba MP Daniel Manduku and Osoro for dinner at his rural home.

Arati had two weeks ago implored Members of Kisii County Assembly to reconsider their position to impeach his deputy after meeting religious leaders in the region in effort to promote unity among the various area elected leaders.

“I want to call upon Members of the County Assembly to reconsider your position over my Deputy Robert Monda so that we can address the issues raised since I know you have set a date to vote so that these matters can be addressed outside the assembly and the Senate if possible,” said Arati.

Osoro had vowed to use his political muscle in parliament to ensure that Monda’s impeachment is defeated on the floor of the Senate in a political duel with Arati who now seems to have carried the day.  Senators from Kenya Kwanza Alliance and Azimio La Umoja united to send the deputy governor home after lengthy deliberations.

The South Mugirango MP suffered a setback last Wednesday when Senate Speaker Amason Kingi directed that he should desist from being part of Monda’s legal team before. The speaker termed his appearance for Monda a conflict of interest since he is a Member of parliament.

Kingi told the house that the roles of legislation, representation and oversight belong to Parliament. That it will not be correct to say that the mandates of the Senate and the National Assembly are distinct such that the affairs of county governments and county officials do not fall entirely outside the jurisdiction and oversight of the National Assembly.

“The attention of the Senate has been drawn and can properly take judicial notice of the fact that Silvanus Osoro is a Member of Parliament representing a constituency in Kisii County and a leader both in the county and the national level, holding a senior leadership position in the Parliament of Kenya, therefore we ask that he desists from being Monda’s advocate,” said Kingi.

Osoro had said Monda was being victimized for working with other elected leaders in the county terming it as a political witch hunt.

The first sign of bad blood between Arati and Osoro was witnessed when they engaged in a physical fight in the presence of President William Ruto and Opposition Leader Raila Odinga during the burial of the father of former Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi three years ago.

It would be interesting to see how Osoro will come out of the latest setback having sworn that Monda will not be impeached only for it to happen last week. Senators allied to Kenya Kwanza where Osoro belongs were at the forefront of pushing for the impeachment of Monda which is a clear indicator that political parties’ differences were kept aside during this process.

“Let me tell the people of Kisii that Monda is not going anywhere despite being brought before the Senate by Kisii County Assembly for impeachment, the accusations against him are a mere witch hunt to punish him for working with other elected leaders in Kisii County, I am going to prove between Arati and me who is influential,” said Osoro.

Kisii Senator Richard Onyonka chose to abstain during voting saying that what was being witnessed at the Senate showed failure in Kisii county. 

“I am greatly disappointed with what has been witnessed in the Senate today since it has portrayed Kisii County that I represent negatively, having worked together with Governor Simba Arati and Deputy Governor Robert Monda, I choose to abstain from voting in this matter,” said Onyonka.

The Kisii Governor has blamed Machogu for sponsoring some political leaders to derail his development agenda with their differences playing out in the public during a funeral service for the Kisii National Polytechnic Principal Daniel Nyariki.

During the event last month, Machogu got agitated when a group of youths booed him as he read President Ruto’s condolence message saying that they could no longer tolerate nonsense where some politicians give some youths some little money to boo others during funerals in the region.

He warned university and college students against receiving Sh 500 to heckle leaders during funerals and appeared to blame Arati for the incident saying that every leader should perform his role with the Governor having been allocated Sh 15 billion which he should account for.

“We have seen a lot of stupidity going on here, and we are not going to accept it any more, every leader should perform his role as expected, the governor has been allocated Sh 15 billion from the exchequer let him perform his role, we are tired of the noises being made in the county,” said Machogu.

Arati in response accused Machogu of being behind the chaos witnessed in the county saying that he was not qualified to lecture him on anything since he defeated him during the last general election and should thank the President for rescuing him from political obscurity he had found himself.

The Governor challenged Machogu to another political duel in 2027 and the number of votes he got during the 2022 general election showed that he was not very popular in Kisii County therefore he does not have the mandate to speak on behalf of the local residents.