Constituency Profile By Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

KARACHUONYO constituency is one of the most advanced rural constituencies in the greater Southern Nyanza region.
The constituency is also showing the way, how best the government devolving funds such as CDF, School Bursary Funds, Road Maintenance Funds, and HIV/Aids control funds is distributed in an accountable and transparent manner. Thanks to the area MP, Eng. James Kwanya Rege, the former Information and Communication Permanent Secretary.

Rege, a communications expert by profession, has done what is unthinkable by other MPs representing rural constituencies in the Luo-Nyanza. Instead of filling the positions of CDF committee with semi-illiterate people, which is the trade mark of most legislators in the region, he has chosen to work with intellectual elites from the region.

The chairman of the CDF is a professor at the Maseno University, while the manager and all members of the disbursing committee are people of high integrity, and individual personalities who have excelled in other fields.

Karachuonyo is located in the tip of southern shore of Nyanza {Kivirondo} Gulf, and surrounded by three other constituencies, with Rangwe in the South, Kasipul-Kabondo in south east, and Nyakach in the East Karachuonyo is reputed for having the least  changes in the number of MPs ever since its inception in 1962 as a parliamentary constituency. Its electorate are  reputed to be  some of the most enlightened and intelligent voters in Luo-Nyanza.

At the general election that ushered in independence in 1963, Karachuonyo was one of the electoral areas, which were under the grips of KANU in Luo-Nyanza, but interesting its first MP, the late Elijah Omolo Agar, an Indian trained economist, stood as an independent candidate and gave a KANU official candidate, the late Mr. Joseph Gogo Ochok, a thorough beating. Agar won the seat and immediately joined KANU in parliament.

Agar’s unique and unbelievable victory over a KANU candidate did not come as surprise. It was the result of politics of intrigues within KANU, where two of the party luminaries were each sponsoring a parallel candidate against the other. Agar was sponsored by the late Tom Mboya, while Joseph Gogo Ochok was considered as a Mr.Jamogi Oginga Odinga point man in Karachuonyo.

At the time, Mboya’s word in South Nyanza was like the law. Mboya had a upper hand over the late Jaramogi, though the two were serving the same party, with Jaramogi as its Vice President, while Mboya was the KANU secretary General. The two had very sharp ideological differences, giving credence to rumors at the time about the existence of KANU”A” and KANU “B”. But this was the truth of the matter; there were two sets of KANU candidates in almost every constituency throughout KENYA.

Agar did not last long. He met a fatal car accident at Ruga, on the main  Oyugis Kisii road while driving in the evening. He sustained a serious damage of his spinal code, and inspite of professional treatment in the United States, he remained on the wheel chair until his death. After Agar’s death, the former Karachuonyo Regional Assembly member, an ex-primary school teacher, David Okiki Amayo, won the by-elections that followed.

Amayo repeated the same during the election proper, when the general election was called in 1969 and successfully defended his seat again in 1974 and 1979. Amayo was in big trouble in 1983, when he lost narrowly to his former schoolmate at Kamagambo SDA Training School, the outspoken and former head of Lang’ata Women Prison, Mrs Phoebe Muga Asiyo. Amayo moved to the High Court and challenged the election of Mrs Asiyo, citing certain irregularity.

But when a by-election was called, the two battled it out in a straight fight and bruising election, during which the entire Luo elites joined Mrs Asiyo’s side. Amayo was considered to be a Moi’s right hand man in Luo-Nyanza, and as such, was one of the few Luos collaborating with the KANU government, which had kept Jaramogi out in the cold, from the mainstream national politics. Leaflets and cartoons depicting Amayo as Andhoga{traitor] were dropped in Karachuyonyo on nightly basis. Many Luo took leave of absence from their places of work, and even those who were serving in the civil service joined in the fray on Mrs Asiyo’s side.

The most intriguing thing concerning Amayo’s defeat in the hands of the Iron Lady, was that even the Permanent Secretary the Office of the President in charge of Provincial Administration and Internal Security, the late Hezekiah Nelson Oyugi, was not comfortable with Amayo leadership, and was covertly supporting Mrs Asiyo, and yet, he was another Luo right hand man of Moi. Oyugi worked covertly through the intelligence system, and provincial administration ,to ensure that Amayo was out of Parliament at all costs.

Oyugi did the same thing to Rangwe MP, who was sacked as an Assistant Minister, and expelled from KANU. Muga lost his seat in the same fashion as Amayo. And later Dr. William Odongo Omamo similarly in Bondo, due to Oyugi. At this point, secret information started reaching Moi’s ears that his most trusted PS had some hidden agenda after he had sidelined all former trusted friends and political associates of Moi in  Luo Nyanza, and replaced then with his own sycophants under the KANU queue{Mlolongo} election of 1988, which was also Oyugi’s brainchild.

Amayo bounced back in 1988, and was appointed an Assistant Minister in the new KANU government, against e expectation of many, that this time around, he was going to clinch a full cabinet portfolio. Others read mischief in the part of Oyugi, the PS, but he later succumbed to illness and died before completing hi term. His younger brother, Lazarus Ombaye Amayo, although fresh from an Indian University, won the by-election that followed on a KANU ticket, but after serving briefly as an Assistant Minister, lost the seat back to Mrs Asiyo in the first multi-party election of 1992, This time around Mrs Asiyo contested on a Ford Kenya ticket.

In the 1997, a radical US and Norway trained economist, Dr. Paul Adhu Awiti won the Karachuonyo seat on NDP ticket and retained the same in 2002, this time around on NARC ticket. But Dr. Awiti, who at one time served in the KANU/LDP merger as the Planning Minister, lost his ministerial position following the fallout in NARC, which was caused by the outcome of the referendum voting of November2005, in which Raila Odinga led Orange Democratic Movement, inflicted heavy defeat to the Kibaki led Banana group.
The people of Kabuoch and  Kanyamwa in Ndhiwa and Kadem, and Karungu in Nyatike, consider themselves as the indignant people of Southern Nyanza, while treating other communities as outsiders and immigrants or sojourners, coining the name{Nyokal},which was widely used by the colonialists in classifying and dividing the communities in the region before independence in 1963.The closest cousins are the people of Kasipul-Kabondo constituency who are slightly more in terms of numerical numbers.

It has two administrative divisions, namely East  and West Karachuonyo  with 22 administrative locations. Eleven on each side of the two Divisions, sub –divided as follows: Acheng’Nyar-Juok{ consisting of the largest groups in the west {  and Adwet Nyar Maragoli {Kadweti}, a sub-clans of Rachuonyo’s youngest and fifth wife, which is the largest and occupying most part of Central and Eastern Karachuonyo, Nyaluo Nyar-Owaga, occupying the southern part and border Kasipul-Kabondo constituencies, Auma Nyar-Alego {Kauma} which is spread in Kibiri area, bordering Kochia in Rangwe Constituency and Nyipir Nyar-Lang’o {Kanyipir}, which occupies the central area.

It is subdivided in Eastern Division and West Division, by the historical mountain, known as God Huma ,which is full of folk tales or oral history, as the Kipsigis called this Mountain as  Tiluet Ab Komiyat.{loosely translates that the Mountain of Honey}.

Karachuonyo had 55,000  registered voters, while their cousins Kasipul Kabondo had 65,000 registered voters, as per 2007 voters roll..

Most parts of the constituency is full of semi-arid land, which also lacks sufficient rainfall, but some parts is full of black cotton soil, which is suitable for cotton production. In fact, Karachuonyo was the leading producer of cotton in 1940s and 1950s.This attracted private investors who established a cotton ginnery at Kendu Bay. The ginnery is still there, but has changed names several time, and is now under the Asego Investments, a company which is associated with the former Rangwe MP. Eng Phillip Okundi.

The company has been trying hard, encouraging farmers to grow more cotton, so that Kenya can produce even surplus in order to benefit from AGOA. But most of farmers are still rather skeptical, following the woes they suffered under the primary farmers co-operative societies, which never paid their dues, for the cotton delivered for years, until they wound up and went burst.

Other occupation for economic gains in Karachuonyo include fishing activities, though the fishermen are still grappling with the menace caused to their fishing by the ever presence of water hyacinth, the weed that has blocked the passage to many fishing landing sites in Lake Victoria.

Karachuonyo is also an area which is good for rearing both native zebu cattle, as well as the more economically important grade animals for milk. But the farmers still prefer keeping the native ones instead of investing in the new method. At the same time, the population of native cattle is also dwindling, owing to the vanishing grazing land, due to population pressure.

Other parts of the constituency, and particularly in Kanyaluo areas, is suitable for both maize and grade cattle for milk production. Milk is very scarce and the population depends mostly on the supplies from Oyugis Market, which is brought in by milk hawkers from Kericho, Bureti, Sotik and Kitutu Chahe areas.

The area is suitable for irrigation, using the abundance waters of Rivers like Awach and Oluch on the borer of Karachuonyo-Rangwe.
The area Mp, Eng. Rege, is working hard to ensure that the region resumes its former role of being the bastion of cotton growing. He has secured more than a dozen tractors in a close collaboration with a multinational company. The tractors can now prepare cotton fields for the farmers on credit. He will even supply the farmers with seedling at an affordable prices and on credit. This is hoped, will boost the cotton production in the area in the near future.

Karachuonyo’s history is also full of cultural and sporting events. It has produced some of the finest footballers in Kenya’s history. The most notable are pioneer Okombo Kemdo who played for the Kenya eleventh in position of centre half Number 6 in the Gossage Cup Competitions in 1940s,  Edward Odek Aringo also played in the Gossage team in the early 1950s.Others worth mentioning in this article are men like Tukiko Oyare, Mbim Ororo, Elmad Yimbo, Oraro Nyasore, Walala Okuta,Olela Waya Manael Awuor and others.

The younger generation of footballers who turned up for Kenya in regional competitions in East and Central African Tournaments include the likes of Charles Ochieng’ and Agonda Lukio in the middle of 1960s and 1970s.

In music, the young Karachuyonyo soldiers returning after being discharged from the KAR at the end of second World War brought acositic [Box Guitrs} guitars with them, though they were not so much talented, but they invented the music in the early 1940s, leading to the formation of the defunct Kendu Jazz Band in the 1950s. The pioneers were Joseph Bonga, Olero Burma, Okul Kaleah, Nyamuche, Dick David Ogweno [Bandmaster}.

The younger generation of guitarists and entertainers produced in Karachuonyo were the likes of the blind and genius Pius Olima {Randiti}, Ben Blustus Obollawayo, Were Kerry, Odiango Abuoga, George Ramogi, George Ojijo.

Residents of Karachuony constituency played pivotal role in shaping up the development of the entire Southern Nyanza, by producing early educationists, preachers, agronomists, veterinarians and medical doctors. This perhaps, could be attributed to the early arrival of the missionaries. They trained teachers from Karachuonyo, who were found almost everywhere in the entire  Southern Nyanza, and opened schools, with trained teachers in almost every school that came  in the early 1930s and 1940s.

Pastors and priest, evangelists and other teachings of Christianity spread like bush area in the region, which was earlier on impregnable due to primitive beliefs of the natives.

But one teacher, who historically remained the architect of development in the entire Southern Nyanza, is the late Mzee Paul Mboya. After graduating as a teacher at Gendia Mission, Mboya taught for a while, before he was made a pastor of the SDA church, at the tender age of 26. His talent and preaching prowess attracted the colonialists, who appointed him and made him a location chief for Karachuonyo, after the first Chieftains of Nyakiti, Oganyo Odero, Okoth Ougo, Orinda, Dola Maira. Paul Mboya served, then left the chieftainship to one of his cousins, Ex-Senior Chief Zephania Malit.

But in 1946, the colonialist transferred Paul Mboya to Kisii, where the South Nyanza district headquarters was located and charged him with the task of forming the African Local Native Council {ALNC}. And he was made its first secretary. The responsibility covered the whole of what is today called Gusii Region, Southern Nyanza and Kuria.

Paul Mboya was among the African top administrators from this continent who attended the Victory Parade in London in 1946, to celebrate the defeat of Adolf Hitler by allied forces in 1945, the man who had set the whole world alight. He against returned to the UK to witness the coronation of Queen Elizabeth 11, in June 1953.

Mboya retired from active services in 1962, as the Clerk to the County Council of South Nyanza, based at Homa-Bay, after the separation of the Luos and the Kisii by the colonial government. But after he had built many market places, trading centres, DEB Intermediate Schools , dispensaries, Health Centres, feeder and access roads, which were by then under the local authorities. Although he was serving the entire district then, he did have a lot of influence for the funds allocations for the development of his native Karachuonyo.

In an interview with some elders at Kendu Bay, they readily acknowledged Paul Mboya’s efforts in developing Karachuonyo.

Eng. Rege is arguably trying his level best, though he is facing stiffest opposition from certain quarters. Mostly from those nursing parliamentary ambitions seem hell bent on sabotaging the development programme in the area, by using their ill gotten money in drugging the youth, and dishing out cheap cash.

Without mentioning names, Eng. Rege appealed to all able people living in his constituency to join him so that they could work together and  turn Karachunyo to be a fully developed.

There is urgent need to improve facilities like Medicare, schools, roads, fishing, and other area which require agent development. They can brainstorm and put their heads together and turn the  area to be the bastion of food grains.

Kendu-Bay Homa-Bay road is under construction and it is in its advanced stage. Once completed, this road will boost business activities in the region. He appealed to the government to tarmac the Oyugis Kendu-Bay road in order to crown up the region with good roads.



  1. ken otieno

    The analysis by Leo is biased. We respect Leo as an old journalist who retired over 10 years ago but he should not do PR stories for the sake of being given a handout at the expense of suffering Karachuonyo residents. He should be objective in his analysis.

  2. nelson odhiambo

    Though the historical story of Karachounyo seems interesting , Mr Leo should not try to say that there is any development . He should not try to please, as that Rege is the one working hard for the development.

  3. Ramogi Mboya

    Hi, I have read what Leo has written but I beg to differ with a few issues.

    1. Paul Mboya, though coming from from Kadwet where Ex – Chief Ziphania Malit hails from, they are not cousins as indicated. Well, they are both hailing from Kogweno clan, but their sub clans are different, with Mboya coming from Kamboya while Malit hails from Komolo.

    By extension, Leo needs to know that all Karachuonyo people are related and do not marry each other. This means that they are all uncles, cousins, aunties etc as is the case with Eng. Rege, Lazaro Amayo and Paul Mboya, who are cousins, yet they come form Kanjira, Kakdhimu and Kogweno clans respectively.

    In Mboya and Malit’s case, Malit is Mboya’s uncle, and not cousin.

    2. Mboya did not give Karachuonyo people preference as Leo would like us to believe. South Nyanza people benefited equally under his stewardship then, and those who benefited as people from Karachuonyo merited their positions.

    3. It is wrong to say that Ambassador Amayo won the seat after his brother’s death, fresh from the university. The truth is Amb. Amayo was already working at the defunct Kenya Post and Telecommunication when he decided to contest the seat.

    It is also unfair not to include Amb. Amayo’s development record during the tenure, when he served as an Assistant Minister of Education. For your information, he was behind the elevation of Ongalo, Otok, Knayamfwa, Omboga and several other schools into provincial schools.

    Amb. Amayo’s leadership and development record is hailed as one that followed the legacy of Paul Mboya in years past, in terms of education and harmony in the constituency.

    I agree Eng. Rege is trying his best so far as he was just elected two years ago, but he should seriously re-look at the imbalance allocation of CDF fund by his so called CDF team of scholars, as Leo puts it. He should give all locations equal preference without favour.

    For Leo, always strive to get your facts right by verifying with other sources before publishing, otherwise your articles however good and meaningful, may pass as mere PUBLIC RELATIONS exercise.

    Ramogi Mboya


    Hi Leo,

    I wish to commend you for at least giving us something to debate about. However for your arguements to hold water, you should at least provide tangible statistics on Engineer Rege’s achievements. This is not to say that Eng. Rege is not doing his part. He is only two years in office, therefore deserve to be supported for meaningful development in the constituency.

    One suggestion to the MP is that big and complex ideas, however good they may sound, do not always translate to development. There is need therefore for Karachuonyo constituents to start small, by doing things that really matter. Such things include providing small water harvesting facilities or tanks at household level, making sure that bright students from poor families are supported to continue with their education, and supporting poor women to access some small credit facility to engage in small-scale businesses.

    For now let us concerntrate on development and do judgement on anybody’s performance when the right time comes.


    with all this IT in karachuonya am very disappointed to be voting manually in the referendum coming in October.am about to put my profile on this website to serve my people.Its our time as youths to relieve to old from leadership.Dr Adhu, thanks for your contribution but sorry for your age.

  6. Babu Ochindo alias Namdar

    Hi Leo

    It is with deep regret that you have decided to do a public relation kind of bussiness and more so damage control on behalf of Eng. Rege. Me personally I was in love with Eng. from the time he was PS but unfortunately am getting disappointed with him because he has lost track.

    I tend to assume unless proved otherwise that Eng. used alot of his resources in campaign that instead left him guilty of coming open to the public. As a human being I understand this, but as a political ‘student’ I would like to advice my MP that let him not go underground. Politicans are made to make ‘noise’ even if he/she has nothing in the wallet.

    About CDF, am equally disappointed with the so called technocrats because they are too much on paper work than practicality. The CDF should have a bigger impact on the ground than what has been experienced. Please let the technocrats to embark on impacting developments than using the funds to lure the assumed overal political sympathy.

  7. Okiki Odero

    Let us be fair. Eng. Rege has made great strides. CDF Funds are no longer dished to political cronies, and the CDF funds are finally trickling down. The ICT infrastructure that is being laid in Karachuonyo Constituency is phenomenal, to say the least. ICT is the hub of the current global economy, and Eng. Rege’s efforts in these respects are deserving of requisite recognition…The Kendu- Bay Homa-Bay Road has finally taken off. Other roads in the constituency are being worked on. Rege has proved himself development conscious, transparent, and the leader that Karachuonyo should nurture to be what it desires him to be.



  9. Cornelius Ododa

    Hi Leo,
    Cc,Eng. Rege,
    The history is somehow interesting,remember that we as voters are currently able to beat all odds,we will only re elect you based on your performance otherwise you will face the wrath of voters,pull up your socks Engineer.


    Let the truth be told, for the first 4yrs Eng.Rege has been in parliament, we people of karachuonyo we have seen some development projects spearheaded by Eng.To mention just a few : the ICT infrastructure which has its roots in our constituency.The expansion and tarmacking of Kendu-bay _Homa_bay road which i do believe will open boost Economic activities within the constituency hence improving the living standard of the people.My fellow constituents lets be sincere and be ready to appreciate something well done however little it is.However, I was so much disappointed when Eng. promised residents of Kokidi sub_location a modern Hospital but all of a sudden the promise was turned down and sources says” those who surrounds him” turned the offer down.Kokidi is also part of the constituency so interms of Development it should also be considered coz they also pay tax.ICT should be used to nurture talents of the youths within the constituency.Those training should be given certificates to show that they have done the required computer packages to boost their job search.Lastly ,Eng. is taking so many development projects to the east as compared to West.


    Open up more Health Centers to save lives. And train the “scholars” at CDF offices to learn the value of honesty and fairness.

  12. George Obondo

    Hi Leo
    Thanks a lot for openning debate on Eng. Rege’s performance as Karachuonyo MP. Eng. Rege was elected amidst high expectations from the constituents, one among them being change in the political management. As a voter in this constituency am yet to see the much hyped development that can be attributed to the sitting MP. Many people are giving him thumbs up to the so called ICT development though this has not translated to any benefit to the constituents. First let me observe that Eng. Rege even before his election as the area MP distributed second hand computers to many schools. Indeed, this was the first mistake that he made as the computers were distributed without due regard to whether there was power and skills required to operationalize them. secondly, most of the computers donated were obsolete making them to be dangerous electronic wastes to the environment. Even with the so called Technocrats and professionals at the management of the CDF many schools are still in deplorable state with mud classrooms . One such school is Mirengo primary school in Kamwania sub-Location. Let him confirm or deny these facts as these are the simple facts that shall be used to campaign against him. The hour of truth is coming and no amount of propaganda will help.

    See u at the ballot.


  13. ruth noah


  14. Bob Ogolla Jakanyaluo

    Hi Leo,

    Let me first recommend you on the brief history you have given us so far and the corrections thereby made in respect to your article. Err is to human.

    On the foregoing debate, let me bring in the argument of letting facts remain to be facts. karachuonyo people have for long suffered in the hands of those who talks lot and does none, well known as day in-out political careers.

    As much as we may go ahead and critisise Eng. lets all know that a constituency’s development doesn’t lie entirely in the hands of the area Mp alone but far tracks to its people at large. It is therefore my appeal to Karachuonyo people that lets first unite ourselves from the so called technocrats, to the mama mboga at kendu-bay, to our many unemployed youths, to the wazee at their farms at awach/oluch and see how far we can drive this constituency to take advantage in the newly created Homa-bay county.

    Otherwise history will keep on repeating itself and it will judge us so unfairly for why we only wasted our prime time on criticism politics than standing up to be counted as a ”Jakarachounyo ma ohero dongruok”

    I stand counted, so are you?

    Bob Ogolla Jakanyaluo.

  15. Tobias Ogaga

    Gentlemen, let us not behave as if we do not know the role of an MP in the development of the constituency and the role of the national Government in the development of the Nation. Why do we associate Engineer Rege with the tarmacking of Kendu Bay- Homa Bay road?. We should analyze the use of the devolved fund in the constituency to rate the level of development brought by the MP. You people talk of the IT. It is good but how is it going to help the illiterate women and men who are also voters of Eng. Rege. There is nothing like the MP is taking development to the East, we do not see those things u are saying. We cannot compare the developments brought by Amb. Amayo and those by Eng. Rege. Amb. Lazarus Amayo is far much better than Eng. Rege. We do not wants Mps who create political dynasties in karachuonyo. His cronies will be his down fall. karachuonyo voters are watching carefully the work of the CDF. We shall have a change of guard come march 2013

  16. Telo Adhiambo

    Great debate initiated here, kudos Leo. I beg to differ alittle though, Rege has tried yes but really ICT in an area where people are lacking proper education, schools in pathetic if not horrible states!! THe girl child knows no more than class 5 before she is impregnatd by a teacher or some agweng’. REGE REGE wake up we didnt vote you in to sit we got you on board as your representative, our voice and one of our own. Do something or like the rest of the country says the ballot box will decide your fate.

  17. Omolo Onyango

    Today I once more visited Kanyadhiang Nyangajo Health Centre. Engineer may have released quite a bit of money, the kind of which any rational human being would think is enough to complete the project. Engineer, this is a vital facility and the one you undertook to complete, do you want to leave it unfinished until 4th March 2013?

  18. edward awiti


  19. Helidah Ochieng'

    Very impressed with the history. Enlighten us more on Karachuonyo and history of origin of ‘Dhoudi’ mopogore. Thanks and well said.

  20. kennedy onyango

    my bro i am doing masters of arts hist. KU.i request that u help write A hist of jokarachuonyo-0720499081.a ja kogweno rakwaro

  21. Mr. Agira Isaac

    Good people.
    Very good and educative historical information. I have read and learned much more of our origin and the culture and origin of our people. My advice is, we need to be updated and the administrator need to accept additional pieces of advice because not all the he gives is accurate and correct. Hope to see the changes

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