Suba Member of Parliament John Mbadi found himself on the receiving end after his colleagues from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) accused him of being a land grabber.
The drama started after Nyatike MP Tom Odege moved to the floor of the House to seek clarification from the Intergovernmental Committee on Administration and National Security on the causes of the increased border conflicts in the Utati area that sits along Migori and Homa Bay counties.
Odege alleged that there have been persistent conflicts and fights between the residents of the Utati area and along the borders of Migori and Homa Bay counties.
“The latest conflict was on Friday, January 8, 2021, and tension has continued to date which has greatly affected the market days in the Utati area leading to loss of livelihoods,” Odege said.
He further said that there have been conflicts in the past within the border of Uriri and Nyatike constituencies at the Kimulich area.
“It is against this backdrop that I seek a statement from the Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Committee on Administration and National Security on the causes of the increased border conflicts in Utati area along Migori and Homa Bay counties,” said Odege.
Odege questioned the Committee on the measures the Ministry of Internal Security had taken to clear demarcate Migori boundaries at the Utati sub-location.
“Could the ministry consider having a police post in the Kimulich area and what plans has the ministry put in place for long-term and sustainable peace in this area?” he quizzed even as he termed Mbadi as a beneficiary of Nyatike land and accused him of being a land grabber.
In a quick rejoinder, Mbadi who doubles as the minority leader in the National Assembly termed the issue at hand as very emotive saying that it should be treated with a lot of care and soberness.
“The MP of Nyatike claimed while finishing his statement that I am a beneficiary of the land of Nyatike people. I want to say that there is no conflict around that area. The MP of Nyatike, comes from about 20kms to 25kms away from Utati. My home is 3kms to Utati. So he cannot claim that he knows what is happening in Utati more than I do,” explained Mbadi.
He claimed that the people of Karungu and Gwassi have lived harmoniously over the years.
“We intermarry and do other socio-economic activities together. Utati is where there is a cattle market and that cattle market is right inside my constituency and nobody can take it away. That land belongs to Gwassi and there is nothing to even investigate,” he added.
He rejected any plans by the committee to visit the disputed area with a view of investigating the cause of the conflict.
“The committee has enough work to do not to go and look into issues that amount to ego. The Nyatike MP does not respect my constituency. There are no problems between Suba and Karungu people. If he is looking for votes then he should not use Utati to do so. He has been my friend but he is now stepping on a live wire,” Mbadi further said.
Suna East MP Junet Mohamed sarcastically claimed that Mbadi’s constituency lacks a shopping centre as he is forced to do his shopping in the neighboring Migori County.
“One thing I agree with my party leader is that in his constituency, where he goes shopping there is no single shopping centre so he has to go all the way to Nyatike. Many times I have visited him I have waited for lunch for four hours. When I ask him he tells me that the food is coming from Karungu and so I should be patient, the food is on the bicycle coming,” said the MP amid laughter from members.