ODM leader Raila Odinga on Thursday, July 1, held a meeting with leaders from the Gusii community in a move to mend fences among Kisii leaders following fallout during the Bonchari by-election where ODM’s candidate won.
It is believed that the former Prime Minister called the meeting to restore peace between Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and local leaders including Kisii Governor James Ongwae who clashed during the Bonchari by-election.
Although a brief statement from the ODM leader indicated that the meeting was called to discuss development matters in the Nyanza region, a statement from the ODM Communications director Philip Etale confirmed that the meeting was called to reconcile with Gusii leaders.
“Leaders from Gusii region led by CS Fred Matiangi, Governor James Ongwae, Timothy Bosire, and Senator Janet Ongera have resolved to put aside their political differences and work together for the good of the people and the region” Etale said in a tweet.
It is understood that the difference between Matiang’i and Ongwae begun on May 13, when police officers stormed the house of Kisii Governor and dispersed a meeting convened by ODM officials.
Raila Odinga’s party claimed a number of Members of the County Assembly allied to the party were arrested over alleged election irregularities in the Bonchari by-election where ODM candidate Pavel Oimeke won.
Matiang’i was further accused of orchestrating the arrest and detention of some local leaders including MCA Jane Justin, MCA Risper Kemunto and Vincent Moisabi at Gesonso police station.
This saw ODM leaders accuse Matiang’i of being the mastermind of police brutality experienced during the Bonchari polls calling on President Uhuru Kenyatta to sach the CS.
“Matiangi behaves like a beast, clobbering his own people in Kisii like they are animals. Uhuru must sack Matiang’i or send him to the ministry of wildlife. He will be at home,” said the ODM secretary-general Edwin Sifuna.