Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Mbita Town.

The Prime Minister Raila Oodinga has come under severest criticism for having failed to recognize the existence of the Luo-Abasuba community inside Luo-Nyanza.

Meeting at Sindo trading center in Kaksingiri Location, Gwassi constituency within Homa-Bay County the Suba Council of Elders led by their chairman Mzee Apollo Okeyo Omuga that it was time Raila Odinga to accept, acknowledge and recognize the existence of the Suba community.

The Suba elders accused the Prime Minister of trying to antagonize the Suba people with the aim and objective of marginalize them and hence his distortion of the community’s history in every funeral gathering as witnessed in the recent past.

It is time Raila Odinga to come to terms with the political realty the Suba community, a people numbering close to 100,00 do not owe their existence to him, but to the Almighty God the creator.

The community was recognized, and published in official gazette by the Kenya government under the retired President Daniel Arap Moi as an entity and there is nowhere the community can abandon their constitutional rights of existence.

Raila Odinga, while addressing a mammoth crowd of mourners during the tearful burial of the former Kenya’s envoy to the UN Ambassador Michael George Okeyo at his Kaswanga village home on Rusinga Island, rubbished the existence of a community called Abasuba, arguing that all those people claiming to be Suba were actually Luos and nothing else.

Odinga had brought along with him from Kisumu the chairman of the moribund Luo Council of Elders, Mzee Willis Opiyo Otondi, as assign of recognition to his group.

The Immigration and Registration of Persons Minister, Gerald Oteno Kajwang’, who was the master of ceremony, did not even mentioned the presence of a large number of Suba Council of Elders members who had travelled all from distance places like Mfangano Island, Gwassi, Lambwe Valley, Sun Migori, Muhuru Bay and other paces for the funeral.

Okeyo stressed the need for the Prime Minister to recognize and respect the rights of minority communities in this country. Already a workshop called for civic education covering two regions of Migori and Homa-Homa Counties at the weekend was boycotted by representatives from the two Kuria districts demanding that similar workshop be held in Kehancha instead of Migori inside Luo-Nyanza.

Th workshop was sponsored by the US Embassy. But the Kurias insist they have the right to hold their own workshop separate from the one organized inside Luo-Nyanza.

The Suba people are the inhabitants of two districts ands two parliamentary constituencies, namely Mbita and Gwassi. A lot of people of Suba origins are living in the diaspora districts like Awendo, Nyatike and Suna-Mgiori. Those residing in Suba region could be numbering about 75,000 adults, while the rest lives outside Suba region.

“The community knew its roots and as such does not need the Prime Minister distortion of historical facts and as such cannot lay down and watch to see their people being marginalized by Raila Odinga for political expediency, “ said Mzee Okeyo-Omuga.

On many occasions while visiting Western Province, the Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, had identified his family roots as having originated from with the Abawanga Kingdom of Nabongo Mumia.Nobody in Luo-Nyanza had ever disputed this claim of Luhyia’s blood in the Odinga family. The Luos still loved him so dearly despite of this kind of”double-speak.”said Okeyo.

Mzee Okeyo blamed Mbita MP Otieno Kajwanga’ as the one linked to a secret plot to rubbish the existence of the Suba people. On several occasions, especially during the burial of Mrs Turphena Agutu Okmbo in Kolo village Waware, in Rusinga East, and during the burial of Mrs Damarish Odhimbo the mother of the nominated MP Milly Odhimbo, Kajwang’ flagrantly and adamantly ignored the presence of the Suba Council of Elders. This is the same Kajwang;’who has represented the Suba people in the August House for the last 16 years. He has now shifted to the Senate, but still he will need the votes from the Suba people.

Okeyo appealed to Raila Odinga to humble himself to the Suba people. He should apologize for his uncalled for public utterances against the Suba people.”Respect is a two way traffic. We have all along respect Mr Odinga and even voter for him on a man to man in the 2007. He should reciprocate our good gesture of love and respect and total loyalty and allegiance we owed him.

As a statesman Mr Odinga must abandon parochial politics of survival and stop antagonizing the Suba people. The Suba people have lived harmoniously along side their Luo neighbors from time memorable and as such require not to be lectured by anyone.



  1. Joel Okembia

    Suba tribe came to kaksingri and found Sakwa karabour clan under Genya had already settled in kaksingri. later the subas started calling Genya clans as Jokamwegenya. So those claiming to be elders in suba region should read history first. That land belong to us( Jasakwa karabuor)

  2. muchilwa felix

    Tell him to speak SUBA if he thinks we belong together. These are the same people who have always referred to us as JOMWA when we demand equal treatment, consideration and fair distribution of national cake. Yes i am Jamwa because i speak a language foreign to the Luos, but they are equally Jomwa to me . If anything, i know both languages whereas Luos cant even attempt mine. Bantus and Nilotes will never gel, its like Oil and Water.

  3. Thomas Nyiende

    I think it is important for this people to be acknowledged and recognized as two separate ethnic groups. Sincerely speaking what is it that can merge the two groups if not only the matter of one nationality! Abasuba is a sub-group of the western Bantus and even people like Wanguhu,Ayot Okello, to mention but a few, attest about that. Suba tribe will remain as a tribe in East Africa and even the act of branding them as ‘Luo- Abasuba’ is breach of the rights of the Abasuba as one the communities in East Africa. I have never had of any community in Kenya that has a compound name as the one that has been given to this community. I think this an error that the historians made , they would have left this to anthropologists!

  4. Olambo Peter

    To my opinion, Suba Community is a community just like any other community in Kenya. people should not be cheated with what is not existing like luo abasuba. To me luo abasuba is not a community in kenya. For example people have inter – married in Kenya just the same way luos have inter – married with suba people, now my question is why don’t those luos who have inter – married with kissi’s be called luo kissi. My fellow suba people it is time that we rise up and fight for our rights as a community in Kenya. lets not just follow what Raila is saying blindly. until when will we be used to increase the population of luos in the country and getting nothing out of it

  5. Thomas Nyiende

    If identity is important , that is to say, one’s Africanness as with case of us Afrcans, then the Abasuba especially those in Kenya need know whether they are first identified as Luo or as Abasuba! And if they are first being identified as Abasuba,then what is the government of Kenya doing to preserve their culture and language?

    What we cannot denied is that every tribe and its culture is God-given and there is a purpose as why did that. The ABASUBA needs to be recognized and the claims of their council of Elders be held with respect. I believe that there no tribe that should see itself as superior to the other. The propaganda facilitating what i term as a virus Luo -Abasuba is administrative and i believe that it is through administrative that the mutual respect can be enhanced.

    We need a Nation where each and every tribe respect the values of each other and i propose an inter-tribal dialogue as mean through which this Nation can be built.

    Abasuba is a unique tribe and it will not be swept away neither by assimilation or whatsoever, from the surface of the earth…………BUILD SUBA BUILD KENYA!!

  6. Aron Bwana

    Whether Raila recognises the existence of Subas or not, we will never seize to exist. If anything, Raila will come and go but SUBA community will remain. SUBA is bigger than raila odinga. SUBA MBELE,RAILA NYUMA. Suba will exist despite the predicaments from the prime minister who claims to be democratic.

  7. kolondo

    suba is a community just like any other community in kenya infact we the suba people should be respected and be given equal opportuanity in the political representation. we are there, we will be there and we live to be respected as acommunity no matter what people say about us.

  8. orone

    Suba’s should identify themselves. what i know is that during migration the suba people were assimilated by the Luo hence they lost their identity till the early 1990’s when former president moi gave each tribe A VERNACULAR broadcasting station under KBC.otherwise they belong to the luyia ethnic group. i have a friend by name okeyo he tells me his grand parents talk a language similar to Luyia for greetings they say ‘otie”

  9. Steve Gaoria Maucha

    As a young boy growing up in an area found in Luoland, I had a lot of hard time trying to convinse everybody that I’m a luo,with me having strange names and Bantu features. My mom would tell me that I’m a Luo while my Dad would tell me I’m a Luo Suba .

    I’ve come to appreciate my suba heritage and I’ve also come to realize that you cannot erase your background and roots, the best way to forge forward is by embracing them.

    The Abasuba culture is totally distinct and different the Luo

  10. Ogaloh

    Suba or not Suba Jesus remains the Lord and we are all children of the most High God. No single man can dictate on this

  11. Kiboyye Okoth- Yogo

    We d have Olusuba speaking Subas. We also have some Luo Speaking Suba. That does not make them Luo. The truth is that Luo and the Suba have enjoyed very close relationship. For example, my Wagassi people and the Karungu people enjoy great relationships so much so that they never care about the Luo or Suba tags. However, to assert that Suba people do not exist is to engage in primitive insults. Our people do exist and this time round the Suba in both Migori and Homa-Bay should push the Suba agenda. A Suba must be one of the Five in the county. Governor, Deputy Governor, County Secretary Women’s Rep and Senator. In the Second layer consisting of the Speaker, County executives, and county chief Officers, a formulae need to be established.

  12. Thomas Nyiende

    Abasuba are a community that love peace and cohesion. I think the Luo should be greatful for this and let Hon. Raila understand that he is a leader not for the Luo community only but for people in Kenya thus as a leader he should respect the constitution that grants each and every tribe the freedom to be accepted and respected as part and parcel of this nation. Suba is a community that was brought in this world by God Himself. We believe that is through us, Abasuba,that we will have a Luo leader for this Nation. The Leader of ODM traces his origin in Luhyaland and no one has ever complained about this, in fact he has never faced opposition among who think is their man. We respect the Luo community and they are our in-laws. Respect is reciperical……We love The Former Prime Minister but we loved to be identified as Abasuba not Luo-Abasuba…I am proud to be a Suba and a Suba who is a Kenyan.

  13. Thomas Nyiende

    The Abasuba is a group of Bantus who are believed to migrated from Uganda under the pressure from Kabaka kingdom then settled in the areas bordering Uganda and Tanzania where some scattered through to other places in Nyanza Region. In fact, the word ” Nyanza” is a Bantu word meaning the shore or an area along the Lake. Abasuba is a tribe just like other tribes in the world, therefore, it is upon the Suba people to stand firm for their identity. Different languages and tribes are there for diversity and it is worth noticing that no tribe is superior nor language superior to another, all languages and tribes are there to be appreciated and be used in benefit of the locality where they are found. The Abasuba should start communicating in Suba language and have all Suba schools taught Suba language in Lower Primary School and insist to communicate with Luos in Swahili. I think this will tell the Luos that the Suba are not Nilotes as such and they should not be branded as Luo-Abasuba anymore. These are Bantus not Nilotes and the government should seriously check on this: We are tired and fed-up this animal….” Suba are Luo”.

  14. moses mudavadi ochola

    it is time we must be respected,recognized as abasuba community.because we have no root in luo tribe dispite the fact that we speak luo at atime does not give an automatic licence to be luos,remember we speak english and we are not from england.

    this undemining of suba tribe has been promoted by the political leaders who never wanted president Moi to give us our own district as suba.i remember that time when even Raila himself was not happy till he said that instead of raising suba district why not RACHUONYO.


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