HAVING A SAY

Abagusii in Mombasa want to influence Nyamira, Kisii politics

There are more than 5,000 Gusii professionals, businessmen and politicians in Mombasa alone.

In Summary
  • The group held a meeting with clerics to discuss development issues back in their rural homes in the two counties.
  • The discussions revolved around poor pay for tea and coffee farmers, unending wrangles, poor infrastructure, nepotism in county and national government recruitment.
Omogusii Movement for Change secretary general Alex Getanda, spokesperson Thomas Orora and chairman John Ogenche at Likoni in Mombasa on Thursday
BIGGER VOICE: Omogusii Movement for Change secretary general Alex Getanda, spokesperson Thomas Orora and chairman John Ogenche at Likoni in Mombasa on Thursday
Image: BRIAN OTIENO

Members of the Kisii community living in Mombasa want to influence the political direction of their home counties of Kisii and Nyamira.

Over 500 Kisii professionals, politicians and businessmen on Friday said although they live, work and have invested in Mombasa they have similar interests in their rural homes.

“That is why we are interested in the 2022 political scenes in our home areas. In fact there are five sitting MPs in the two counties who need to be shoved out in 2022,” said Omogusii Movement for Change secretary general Alex Getanda.

They addressed the press at a hotel in Likoni, Mombasa.

The group held a meeting with clerics to discuss development issues back in their rural homes in the two counties.

“We want to have more say in the development of our home counties because we also have investments there despite living in Mombasa. The leaders elected there affect us,” said group spokesperson Thomas Orora.

The group said as campaigns for 2022 general elections slowly take shape, development should not be pushed into the back burner.

“If you have a questionable track record, then we will be on your neck. We must not allow mediocrity in Nyamira or Kisii,” Orora said.

 

According to Getanda, there are over 5,000 Kisii professionals, businessmen and investors in Mombasa and its environs.

These are drawn from different constituencies in Kisii and Nyamira counties.

On Thursday, they held a seven-hour meeting deliberating on issues touching the two counties.

The discussions revolved around poor pay for tea and coffee farmers, unending wrangles by leaders in the two counties, poor infrastructure, nepotism in county and national government recruitment, among others.

The movement’s chairman John Ongeche said many current leaders pledged to build banana, pineapple and avocado factories that have not materialised.

He said eight years ago, a Sh150 million avocado processing factory was launched but failed to take off.

"We were told the factory was to process approximately 80 tonnes of fruits daily and provide job opportunities to hundreds of jobless youths.

“We grow the fruits in large quantities with much expectations but now we are wondering what to do with the fruits as the same leaders who promised us went mute,’’ Orora said.

The spokesperson said while tea farmers in other counties were paid Sh39 per kilo, those in Kisii and Nyamira were paid a paltry Sh9.

“This is an insult to our farmers,” he said.

Ongeche said with no visionary leaders, the residents will remain poor hence the need to speak with one voice for the benefit of the thousands languishing in poverty.

The leaders hailed Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri, saying he has raised and addressed issues facing the Kisii.

They described him as an experienced politician with a positive track record who can lead his people in future.

"We will rally behind Ongeri. His track record is clean and impressive,” Orora said.

They said his role was massive in the construction of Kenyenya Teachers Training College, health centres, rural electrification, among other development projects.

The meeting was attended by community representatives from the other five Coast counties of Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Lamu and Tana River.

Getanda said the rivalry witnessed between leaders in the two counties has had a negative impact on the progress of the counties.

He said such leaders should not be re-elected.

“Age is not a limit. We want progress and employment of thousands of youths in the county. Professor (Ongeri) has initiated several projects unlike the others who are just politicking,” Getanda said.

Edited by Henry Makori