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Yesterday I saw that historic clip of James Aggrey Bob Orengo and Martin Oyondi Shikuku perched atop a pickup as they entered Kamukunji grounds during the original Saba Saba Day protests. It rekindled memories of the Orengo Kenyans know and one almost forgotten since he became Governor.

Because Ben Agina was a friend and fellow professional I remember with nostalgia how we had a productive time engaging on issues touching on governance in Siaya County. The current Director of Governor’s Press Unit, Mr. Victor Okoth Marende prefers to do things differently and I can’t say we are so close. Yet, that does not warrant the negative energy he has been receiving from a group of Siaya youth.

While Kenyan Youth known as Gen Z are busy strategizing on how to Liberate the country from oppressive legislation Siaya youth known as Sangwenyas are busy attacking the choice Governor James Orengo made in picking the current Director of Governor’s Press Unit.

It is not surprising since some of the youth who felt qualified to be appointed to the same position were overlooked by the governor fomenting sibling rivalry. There’s also the misguided notion that by attacking Marende the Governor might take notice of their existence and probably appoint a Director of Information from their ranks.


Listen to me, Sangwenyas, the government is not run on sentiments but planning. If you have a plan to be appointed for any existing vacancy you do not mount unsolicited attacks on the personality of an individual on a WhatsApp group, instead you present your application documents to the Siaya County Public Service Board. The position of Director of Information is competitive unlike the Director of Governor’s Press who is appointed at the discretion of the Governor.

As the Director of Governor’s Press Unit, Victor Okoth Marende is not a public servant parse but an aide of the governor. Such appointments are made out of trust, experience, confidence and other factors which the appointing authority does not have to divulge to Sangwenyas.

So is Marende cut out for the job?

The verdict is yours here.

Number one, tell me, has the Governor’s X profile gone up in the short duration he has been in office or gone down? The answer is yes, the Governor’s profile on X has gone up and even engagements on that profile are so dazzling high that Sangwenyas are now thinking bots have been hired to prop the account.

Bots are automated and their responses are predictable. All those engaging on the Governor’s page are youth and that’s why the Sangwenyas do not understand their language. This says something about the importance of hiring Sangwenyas to have a discussion between themselves in a WhatsApp group and hiring a professional to promote a brand on social media.

Number two, and most importantly Sangwenyas must understand that before he was elected Governor James Aggrey Bob Orengo was a public figure, no, an international public figure. Whoever is concerned with managing his profile therefore must know that Orengo the civil rights activist never died, and Orengo the brilliant Constitution lawyer is still alive. Sadly Sangwenyas only focus on Orengo the Governor – that is extreme myopia.

Number three, the recent Gen Z movement should have opened the eyes of Siaya youth to understand that blogging is not an activity confined to the exchange of greetings and insults on a WhatsApp group. As a matter of fact if the term were to be applied professionally Sangwenyas are not bloggers but leeches who thrive on handouts from politicians. They are hangers-on who exist from worshipping politicians – actually Sangwenyas promote idolatry and dependence on personalities – a trait Gen Z are fighting to abolish.

For your information the definition of a blogger is someone who owns a blog or website, it doesn’t include  notoriety in a WhatsApp group. It is done mainly on X, Tiktok, YouTube and other public channels. Curiously Sangwenyas are absent on all these forums.

Finally, let me tell you something just for free.

When James Aggrey Bob Orengo was elected Governor it was said he had never built even a single toilet in his Ugenya home turf. Imagine those were the glowing credentials that Siaya people saw in him and elected him Governor!

Was it because Orengo had never built a toilet or was it because Orengo is a public figure of international repute that Siaya voters magnanimously elected him?

Look at the direction the Siaya Stadium is taking or the Siriwo Rice Mill, Referral Hospital and other major projects associated with the Siaya Governor are taking . They transcend county politics. They are national and international projects. They reflect who he is.

And please note am not oblivious to the fact that Sangwenyas can help upcoming politicians launch their careers; all am saying is that in the case of Orengo and Marende you are swimming in deep waters. Period.

Besides being your governor James Aggrey Bob Orengo is an international figure whose profile far transcends the activities of WhatsApp groups. Let the professionals do their work. I don’t hear Sangwenyas talking about Diblo the cameraman in the Governor’s office or is it because Sangwenyas don’t know how to take photos……

We uru Marende oti tije.


Editorial Monday 7, July 2024


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