I back Governor Ongwae but I am in Jubilee, says Sam Ongeri

UN Habitat ambassador Sam Ongeri has said that he has not defected to ODM despite throwing his weight behind the re-election of Kisii Governor James Ongwae.

Prof Ongeri, a former Cabinet minister, said he is still with Jubilee.

“I am still in Jubilee and I have not defected. I will, however, disclose my political stand between March and May next year,” he said.

Speaking on Wednesday at Masimba Seventh-day Adventist Secondary School during a fund-raiser, the ambassador reiterated that he would push for the re-election of Mr Ongwae.

“There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents me from working with the governor simply because he is from a different party,” said Prof Ongeri.

Prof Ongeri will be making a second attempt at becoming the Kisii senator in the 2017 elections.

He was beaten by Mr Chris Obure in 2013.

Mr Obure will this time be seeking to unseat Governor Ongwae.


Prof Ongeri was accompanied at the Thursday function by Mr Ongwae, some county executives, ward reps and a number of aspirants for parliamentary seats allied to the Mwanyagetinge Twensi (Abagusii Together) alliance.

Prof Ongeri defended his development record saying is was unmatched in the region.

“I was in the Serena team that negotiated a peace deal to end the crisis caused by the 2007/08 post-election violence. My contribution to that process remains in the public domain,” said the former Cabinet minister.

He said he was also instrumental in the upgrading and expansion of the Kisii Referral Hospital.

“I approached President Moi and pitched the idea of having modern medical facilities along the Kericho-Nakuru-Kisii-Tanzania route,’’ he said.

On his part, Governor Ongwae said he always looked up to Prof Ongeri as a role model in regional leadership.

However, Prof Ongeri criticised the Obomo (Gusii Unity) Caucus fronted by Mr Obure as composed of individuals who are desperate to exclude other leaders from the region with divergent opinions in a bid to monopolise the Jubilee government’s presence and power in the region.

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