Governor Simba Arati Rejects Security Meeting Amidst Political Tensions in Kisii County

Kisii, January 14, 2024 – The Governor of Kisii County, Simba Arati, has taken a defiant stance against a multi-sectoral consultative meeting organized by Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu. The meeting, scheduled for Wednesday at an undisclosed location, aims to address the rising insecurity in the county and foster reconciliation between Governor Arati and South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro.

Governor Arati, however, has made it clear that he will not be participating in the meeting, asserting that the Cabinet Secretary has not acknowledged his legitimate election as the governor. “I defeated him, and President William Ruto appointed him as Cabinet Secretary,” Arati declared during a public gathering at Nyansakia Catholic Church in Bomachoge Chache Constituency on Saturday. The governor accused Machogu of being aware of individuals orchestrating chaos at Nyakembene market in Boikanga Ward, South Mugirango, where gunmen opened fire on a crowd he was addressing, resulting in injuries to local residents.

“Let the law take its course. Even in Somalia, where there is no government, shots are not fired haphazardly except by Al-Shabaab,” Arati stated, referring to the recent incident at Nyakembene market. The chaos erupted as Governor Arati presided over the Ward Bursary Fund distribution, and he emphasized the need for accountability and justice in the aftermath of the violence.

Arati appealed to church leaders to pray for him and the government, highlighting that a bullet aimed at him injured a youth standing behind him, who is currently hospitalized and recovering. The governor’s reluctance to participate in the consultative meeting comes amidst heightened political tensions in the region.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, in a statement released on Friday, expressed concern over the escalating insecurity and political unrest in Kisii County. Describing the situation as “perturbing and disturbing,” Machogu emphasized the need for local leaders to come together and find lasting solutions to the unacceptable state of affairs.

In a letter dated January 12, the Cabinet Secretary informed various stakeholders of the decision to initiate consultations among local leaders to address the sporadic cases of insecurity and violence witnessed in the region. The letter was copied to Solicitor General Shadrack Mose, Dr. Pastor Leornard Aencha, Executive Secretary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, South Kenya Conference, and Dr. Rev Moses Anyega, Overseer of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God.

The political landscape in Kisii County appears to be at a crossroads, with the upcoming meeting intended to bring about reconciliation and address security concerns facing the region. However, Governor Arati’s refusal to participate adds a layer of complexity to the situation, raising questions about the prospects of a successful resolution in the near future. As stakeholders await further developments, the eyes of the nation remain focused on Kisii County and the challenges it currently faces.


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