BY HENRY MARETE – Whoever was sober on Friday evening must have read the mood of the Abagusii country during the burial of Dr. Hezron Manduku.
The Omugusii, as the community is affectionately referred to have smelt leadership coming their way. A permanent replacement for the aging Simeon Nyachae, whose word was the law to the community.
Leaders led by the two Governors of Kisii and Nyamira urged former premier Raila Odinga to endorse Super CS Fred Matiangi for the Presidency.
Opening the much-postponed debate on the role Dr.Fred Matiangi will play in the President Uhuru succession.
He has already taken over the Presidential Delivery Unit docket. He has the entire cabinet reporting to him. And he has the ear of the President himself and all key players in his administration including the security agencies.
The Matiangi power trajectory reminds one of the late Kenneth Matiba and John Michuki. Matiba was a political colossus who would have easily ruled Kenya had KANU not divided the opposition in 2002. Matiangi forced the ever sly Kenyan men to bond with their wives and girlfriends during the Census weekend. He closed bars and restaurants at 5pm for two consecutive days.
Now his community wants him to go for the ultimate prize.
So what are his chances? He starts off with approximately 600000 votes from the Omugusii country, spread over Gusii land, Nakuru, Transmara, Ukambani and Nairobi.
Should he get the backing of Raila- unlikely as Raila is widely expected to vie, he will easily run away with the greater Nyanza vote expected at close to 2 million and since age at the time are on his side.
Dr.Matiangi can forge an alliance with other leaders in a coalition of sorts…
Better for him, there is every chance that more powerful seats will be created after an expected referendum.
But Matiangi has major hurdles to navigate. Wherever a new political star emerges, political knives are aimed at that particular direction.
The DP Ruto camp must be watching the Matiangi evolution with concern…they will watch his every move as Gusii land has for long being a swing vote of sorts.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, a political ally of the Abagusii will monitor Dr.Matiangi moves.
So will Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula and others.
All politicians now know Matiangi is not your idea of a “softee“, as the generation he belongs to refers to indecisive leaders.
In 2013, when he was appointed the CS for Information and Communications, Dr. Matiangi took on the media head-on and created a Government Advertising Agency.
Prior to the Uhuruto Government, mainstream media seem to lean heavily on the CORD brigade, then associated with Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka.
Then Matiangi struck where it hurt most and revenues to the media came tumbling down as Government received value for money. By the time Matiangi left the ICT ministry, he had hammered sense into the mainstream media by placing them where they rightly belonged.
When President Uhuru punched his alleged corrupt ministers in Charity Ngilu, Felix Kosgey, Davis Chirchir and Engineer Kamau, Matiangi acted as CS Lands. During that short period, he reigned on a murderous land gang in Murang’a and restored sanity in a disputed piece of land that had claimed more than 30 lives.
Then came his move to the Education Ministry. Here, Matiangi hit the ground running, cleaned all the cartels in the education system, ended exam cheating and restored the credibility of secondary education.
He reversed the years of apathy in the education system, tamed apathy in Universities and placed Kenya’s education system to where it rightfully belongs.
Then his sojourn at Internal Security. He inherited the docket after the demise of Gen Nkaissery, a no-nonsense soldier poached from ODM by President Kenyatta to deal with terrorism and other security threats.
Dr. Matiangi has not disappointed. He took the job on his gusto and has since made Kenya one of the safest places to live in East Africa.