The control and influence of Interior and Coordination of National Government Fred Matiang’i in the all-important Gusii region has been put to question after he failed to deliver the just concluded Bonchari parliamentary mini-polls seat and instead lost to ODM’s Pavel Oimeke.
At the same time, the powerful CS whose name is numerously floated even by cabinet colleagues as a likely successor of President Uhuru Kenyatta seemed to antagonise the delicate ‘handshake’ coalition foundation between President Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) attracting the wrath of the latter.
Raila did not only tear into Matiang’i but also warned that the “peaceful co-existence post-2018 must not be taken for granted” and “not an avenue to pursue imaginary and short-legged political interests.” Raila said.
Political pundits contend that Raila’s public reservations is a show of growing unease within handshake political arrangement and a long warning shot that he could indeed pullout of the deal with president Kenyatta.
“What we have witnessed in the by-elections in Bonchari and Juja is an abuse of police powers and an arrogant display of IMPUNITY by a few overzealous and bellicose government functionaries. An election process is an opportunity for the voters to express their will at the ballot and not an avenue to pursue IMAGINARY and SHORT-LEGGED political interests.”
He added: “Security forces exist to serve the people and not the interests of those out to conduct political experiments. The peaceful co-existence post-2018 must NOT be taken for granted by some rogue elements wanting to confuse the HANDSHAKE for an excuse to ERODE our hard-earned liberties! This must STOP!” said Raila in a post on his Twitter handle.
His remarks come just hours after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) suspended vote tallying in Juja after a chaotic evening at the Mang’u High School tallying center.
Meanwhile, he congratulated Bonchari MP-elect Oimeke on his victory in a closely fought election.
According to Raila, the victory demonstrated the ODM party’s unwavering support and love.
“Congratulations to Bonchari Mp Elect Pavel Oimeke! The win in the just concluded by-election is a clear demonstration of the unwavering support and love for ODM party,” Raila Tweeted ” Governor Ongwae, the Kisii ODM team, the Abagusii community and the entire family of ODM, kazi mzuri!”
In 2019, president Kenyatta elevated Matiang’i by appoint him as the chair of the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee effectively overseeing implementation and monitoring of all development projects initiated and funded by the national government.
The sub-committee brought together all CSs, Attorney General Kihara Kariuki and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua.
The president delegated the powers to Matiang’i in an Executive Order number 1 of 2019 signed in Mombasa.
However, the loss of Jubilee Party candidate in Bonchari Zebedeo Opore exposes the underbelly of dwarfing political influence of the Jubilee Party in Matiang’i’s backyard.
At the same time, Jubilee loss in Bonchari could be used as a primary yard stick to assess Matiang’i’s ground influence given that he is said to harbour high stakes political ambitions.
Oimeke garnered 8,049 votes, Opore got 7,279 votes to take second position while UDA’s Teresa Bitutu took position three with 6,964 votes.