Respect elders, Ongwae tells Arati.

Former Kisii Governor James Ongwae on Friday asked Governor Simba Arati to respect the community’s elders.

He especially told him to ensure the group is not denied access to their current office which he had allocated to them while he was the County boss.

Ongwae said the order asking the elders to vacate the premise marks a new low adding that it was uncharacteristic of the community’s conduct and national stature .

“It is distressing news that some people want you out of that office, hopes that is not what i had envisaged as governor when i donated the space to you as the elders,” said Arati.

The council of elders, he said, should be given the latitude and independence to work on their own and continue giving advice to the leaders as demanded of their office.

” We should show them due respect because of the critical role they play in the community, “stated Ongwae.

The former governor’s sentiments come in the backdrop of claims Governor’s Arati was pushing for their ejection from the office.

Already some officers from the County had been sent to unilaterally occupy part of the the elders offices that are adjacent to Kisii School.

An elder told the Star some that some furniture taken by some county staff months ago had not been returned to them adding that efforts to broker talks with the current governor over the same had failed.

“He doesn’t appear keen to talk to us,” the elder told the Star on condition of anonymity.

He said there had been telltale signs of an ejection following the deployment of some County staff who have already taken some space in the elders offices.

On Friday Ongwae who was addressing mourners at Kenyenya playgrounds in Bomachoge Borabu during the burial of elder Zablon Sereti,a member and a former office bearer with the Gusii elders Council said such actions by Arati continue undermines the dignity and sanctity of the holders of the elders office.

“It is childish and augers badly for us as society and we should not allow it to happen ,” he said.

He eulogised Sereti saying the community has lost wisdom.

“He was not only a friend but a good man as well who respected all that he interacted with,”, said Ongwae.

Elder Sereti was Council Treasurer.

The burial was attended by his former Deputy Joash Maangi, a Chief Administrative Secretary in the office of Foreign affairs, area MP Obadiah Barongo and Gusii Council of Elders chair James Matundura among other leaders .

Ongwae urged those who the government has entrusted with leadership to ensure they serve the country faithfully.

“We are a respected community, work diligently to serve Mwananchi,” he said.