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Kisii embraces generational change as Nyachae packs PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 30 December 2007 10:05
The electorate have heralded a new political dispensation in Kisii by bringing on board new youthful faces most of them professionals, who left their jobs for politics. The trouncing of Roads minister, Mr Simeon Nyachae by Dr Robert Onsare Monda reads like the biblical story of Goliath vs David.

Though Monda, a new comer in the political scene, had little to show for Nyachae’s dominance in the larger Kisii politics, he went on to beat him hands down. He won the Nyaribari-Chache parliamentary seat.

It seems Nyachae, sensed defeat soon after casting his vote at Nyosia Primary School. He immediately headed to his rural home driving himself and never set foot at Keumbu Social Hall, where tallying was taking place.

Nyachae is on record as having said it was only a coffin that would remove him from Parliament. But the people of Nyaribari-Chache, whom he represented for the past 15 years, thought otherwise and made him swallow his own words by sending him home alive.

"I was an agent of a different candidate but chose to vote for Monda because I wanted Nyachae out," said a resident at the constituency. The news of Nyachae being trounced by a newcomer shocked many in the larger Gusii community. Nyachae, son of former senior chief, the late Musa Nyandusi, was born on February 6 1932. He attended local schools before being employed by the colonial government.

In 1957, he got a scholarship to the UK where he studied public administration. In 1959 he returned to the country. From 1961 to 1979 he served as DO, DC, and PC. He was then appointed Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President. He was promoted to Chief Secretary, Head of Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet in 1983. The infamous ‘District Focus for Rural Development’ was his brainchild during his tenure as Head of Civil Service.

In 1987 he retired and unsuccessfully made his political debut in 1988. He returned in 1991 with the advent of multi- partyism and rejoined Kanu. In 1992, he won the Nyaribari- Chache seat and has recaptured it in the last three General Elections.

Friends and foe could not swallow the bitter truth that Monda is the Nyaribari-Chache MP-elect. Monda, a veterinarian, who was making his debut in elective politics after quitting the Civil Service six months ago garnered 11,336 votes against Nyachae’s 9,909 on a Narc ticket — a party seen as less popular in the region.

There were 21 contestants for the seat.

ODM’s Chris Bichage trailed with 2,836 votes and conceded defeat at Keumbu Social Hall. Monda was born 47 years ago at Nyankororo Village to Mzee Gichaba Monda and Abigael Nyanduko. He is a fourth born in a family of nine siblings most of them medical and veterinary doctors.

The MP-elect is married to Joyce Kemuma and they have four children aged between 19 and 26 years – three daughters and one son. Monda went to Nyankororo Primary School before he proceeded to Nduru Boys for his O-levels. Later, he joined Murang’a Boys Secondary School for his A-levels. He studied Veterinary Medicine at the University of Nairobi and upon graduation worked with the Kenya Wildlife Services.

He later moved to the Ministry of Livestock and was posted to Keumbu and then transferred to Ogembo as the district veterinary officer.
Monda was transferred to Nakuru. Soon after he became Rift Valley Provincial Veterinary Officer. All along, Monda has never harboured any political ambitions until the people of Nyaribari-Chache approached him with a request to venture into politics.

"I have always remained neutral in political matters, but when the electorate approached me, I yielded to their request," Monda told journalists after he was declared the winner, yesterday.

"I resigned my post mid this year according to their wish and indeed they have kept their word and elected me to represent them in Parliament," he added. The soft-spoken Monda is a Seventh Day Adventist.

He hails from Bonyameyio clan, while Nyachae hails from Bonyamasicho. The two clans are members of the larger Kamba Nane, which has dominated the Nyaribari politics.

He says people wanted change and they saw that he represented what they desire. It is interesting to see how one cannot block an idea whose time has come. Unlike all his rivals Nyachae is well endowed financially and had entrenched himself politically.

Monda has a lot of respect for his immediate predecessor, saying he was an elder. "Nyachae has lots of wisdom from which we can borrow to make Nyaribari-Chache a better place. We do not want to dwell on the negative sides only," he observed.

Despite Nyachae campaigning in a chopper from village to village while his rivals campaigned on motor vehicles, the electorate still sent him packing.

"At least the will of the people has been realised. Nobody looked at parties as the electorate interrogated us on issues," Monda observed.
Nyachae and seven former Ford-People MPs, including Planning Minister, Mr Henry Obwocha, Mr Jimmy Angwenyi, Mr Zepedeo Opore, Mr Mwancha Okioma, Mr Godfrey Masanya, Mr Stephin Manoti and Dr Hezron Manduku were voted out. It was only Mr Joel Onyancha, who survived the onslaught to retain the Bomachoge seat for a second term. Nobody has ever successfully defended the seat for a second term since independence.

Just like Nyachae, Obwocha’s 15-year stranglehold of the West Mugirango was brought to an end by newcomer, Dr James Gesami of ODM. Another newcomer, Mr Charles Ombui, a former Gusii Mwalimu Sacco manager, floured Masanya.

Prof Sam Ongeri of Kanu returned after staying in the cold for five years to take the Nyaribari-Masaba seat from Manduku. Perennial contender for the Kitutu-Masaba seat, Mr Walter Nyambati of National Liberal Party finally made it after ejecting Okioma. Son of former Cabinet Minister, the late Dr Zachary Onyonka, Richard Momoima trounced Angwenyi to the chagrin of former PS James Ongwae, who was tipped to win.

In Bobasi former Finance minister Mr Chris Obure of ODM also returned to replace Manoti. Mr Charles Onyancha of ODM finally made it after three attempts at the Bonchari seat when the electorate sent Opore packing.