The evident political friction between Migori Governor Okoth Obado and Kuria East MP Marwa Kitayama Maisori has taken a new twist after the legislator claimed that he and his wife, a county employee, have received death threats.
At the heart of the rivalry is a World Bank project aimed at upgrading towns in Migori County. Mr Kitayama has led a group of Kuria politicians in protesting the selection of Migori, Awendo and Rongo as the beneficiaries of the Sh516 million project.
The politicians pointed out that neither of the major towns in Kuria Isibania and Kehancha, was included in the project. But Mr Obado maintains that he had no say in selecting the three towns, which are in predominantly Luo areas.
A fortnight ago, there was a commotion when the governor and his team went to open the newly-built Kuria East Sub-county offices in the MP’s electoral turf. The MP, who attended the function, openly slammed the governor over the towns upgrade project.
The governor, who tried to defend himself, was forced to cut short his speech and leave hurriedly after irate residents armed with all manner of weapons started heckling him. It is after the incident, that the MP claimed that he received threats from Mr Obado’s allies, who said that the MP was out to tarnish the governor’s name.
Mr Kitayama said that he reported the matter to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in Nairobi Thursday.
“This issue has taken a new dimension and now the governor is using his cronies to threaten me. I have reported the matter to the DCI and I hope action will be taken,” said Mr Kitayama, adding that the threats had also been issued via text messages
The MP also claimed that his wife, Mary, had been threatened by a gang following his clash with the governor a fortnight ago. Mrs Kitayama is the Sub-county Administrator for Kuria East, which is also her husband’s constituency.
”My wife has been dragged into this and she is now being targeted at the county government for allegedly being responsible for the heckling of the governor in Kuria East. Unknown people have been going to her office several times to eject her,” Mr Kitayama said.
During the Kegonga event, which was hosted by Mrs Kitayama, one of the local artists she had invited to entertain the guests criticised the governor for excluding Kuria region from the World Bank project. But Mr Nicholas Anyuor, Governor Obado’s press director, has objected to the rumors that the governor was using his supporters to threaten the MP.