You're cowards, Natembeya tells MPs for failing to attend prayer

Trans Nzoia Governor George Natembeya when he appeared before the County Public Accounts Committee (CPAC ) at Simba Hills Hall, KICC, Nairobi. June 20th,2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Trans Nzoia Governor George Natembeya has railed against legislators from his county who did not attend an interdenominational prayer service on Friday, describing them as cowards.

Natembeya said the MPs did not have the courage to publicly support his Tawe Movement despite expressing their support in private.

The movement seeks a leadership change in Western Kenya region.

Natembeya, who leads the movement, was unhappy that all Members of Parliament from Trans Nzoia County gave the event a wide berth.

Yesterday, Natembeya called for bravery, likening politics to the Luhya circumcision rite, where one must endure pain.

"Stop being cowards, calling me at night claiming you support the Tawe Movement but during the day, you can't come out publicly. Just like facing circumcision, you must come out of your traditional house and endure the pain," Natembeya said.

The Governor said he will never work with politicians he described as political cowards who are unwilling to make resolute decisions. 

He said he will not allow Western Kenya to continue grappling with poverty despite its contribution to national politics.

"We have participated fully in national politics but have not reaped the benefits," Natembeya said.

During the Friday prayer event held at Kitale Agricultural Showground, the county chief was accompanied by Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) and county staff.

Conspicuously absent were MPs from the five constituencies, Senator Allan Chesang and Woman Rep Lilian Siyoi.

Cherang’any MP Patrick Simiyu was said to be in New Zealand on official duties.

Kwanza MP Ferdinand Wanyonyi and his Endebess counterpart Robert Pukose, told Sunday Standard that they were attending a fundraiser at the Immaculate Sisters Catholic Church in Karen, Nairobi, where the guest of honour was First Lady Rachel Ruto.

Kiminini MP Kakai Bisau said he received the invitation late and that he had other engagements, according to sources. Saboti MP Caleb Amisi said he was represented by his PA while Woman Rep Siyoi was attending a meeting of the National Assembly's Labour Committee.

The interdenominational prayer service was also attended by former Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati, elders and members of the business community.

The clergy called for unity among leaders, cautioning against political divisions that could derail development in the region.

Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kitale Henry Odonya lauded the progress made in the county since Natembeya took office.

"We thank God for the unity that has enabled us to realize development in our county. I call upon all leaders and residents to unite and work together," he said.

Bishop Martin Mafumbo, Secretary of the Trans Nzoia Chapter of the Interreligious Council Network of Kenya, expressed optimism that Natembeya's leadership would empower the community.

"We want to give our Governor emotional and spiritual support to continue doing great work for the people of Trans Nzoia," he said.