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I’m ready for a truce with Simba Arati, says Osoro

National Assembly Majority Whip Sylvanus Osoro has said he is ready for talks aimed at brokering a political truce with Kisii Governor Simba Arati to forestall further animosity and violence.

The MP said he will attend Wednesday’s (today) meeting that has been called to find a lasting solution to the ongoing supremacy battle between the two Gusii leaders.

The South Mugirango MP yesterday said he cannot turn down the invite for the consultative meeting, saying that when elders call, the appeal should be heeded.

“I am ready for the meeting although the governor said he will not attend. When elders call you, you simply go. I have no problem. I want to listen to the elders,” said Osoro.

The latest development comes after Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu last week wrote to the two leaders calling them to a meeting to try to end the rift between the two.

In the letter, the CS said the Gusii community is concerned about the sporadic cases of insecurity and violence that have been witnessed in the region in recent months.

“To get to the bottom of this disturbing matter, it has been decided that consultations be initiated … to find a lasting solution,” Machogu said in the letter.

The letter came hot on the heels of an ugly confrontation between the two leaders last week which degenerated into a physical confrontation that left at least four people injured and several vehicles destroyed.

But in a swift rejoinder, Governor Arati dismissed the meeting saying CS Machogu cannot be an impartial umpire alleging he is one of the forces using Osoro to undermine him.

“His point men are involved; they are always in those meetings. You cannot be a coach, a referee, a linesman and a player in one game,” said Arati.

“We can only talk about reconciliation if justice is served to those who were injured and everyone responsible for it is held to account. Osoro must be prosecuted,” he added.

However, Osoro dismissed the claims, saying the meeting was convened by church elders in the region and a neutral ground was suggested. He said Machogu came into the picture by virtue of being the top most leader in Gusii land.

“The governor does not want any meeting because he knows what he is hiding,” said the second-term MP.

He tried to absolve himself from last week’s chaos, saying he was the victim as he was ambushed by the governor’s people.

“I was also launching a road that day and it is the same road he was using. On his way to the venue, he saw my graders and vehicles and he unleashed his goons on my people,” he said.

Osoro said the genesis of their feud stems from the governor not wanting to be held accountable on how he runs the county government.

He alleged that the first term county chief does not want to be questioned by anyone and governs by intimidation.

“Not a single MP can question him and he has been left to do whatever he wants. He is the governor, the deputy governor, CEC and chief officer all in one. If I keep quiet, then he will have his way,” he said.

The MP went on to claim that the governor has failed in his role and has now resorted to calling other leaders and even county employees “thieves”.

He said hospitals in the county lack medicine, while development is not to the expected levels with funds going back to the Exchequer.

“The governor and I are not seeing eye-to-eye because he is more of a public relations person. He cannot abdicate his duties and purport that others are thieves,” he said.

Osoro challenged Arati to report individuals he thinks are thieves to the investigative agencies for investigations and prosecution.

“Desist from calling Kisii people thieves without substantiating. Thieves are supposed to be presented before investigative authorities for action. He should present the names of those thieves to relevant authorities for investigations,” he said.

 “There are no medicines in hospitals and he claims they were stolen. Who stole the drugs and why have they not been reported to the investigative authorities? He also keeps talking of ghost projects, who are those people who did such projects? He must have the records as he is the boss of the county,” said Osoro.

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