Politicians on Sunday turned a church service and fundraiser in Nyabondo, Nyakach, into a platform for tearing into Kisumu Senator Fred Outa.
Led by Governor Anyang' Nyong'o and Deputy Governor Mathews Owili, speaker after speaker attacked Mr Outa for his unrelenting criticism of the county boss.
Prof Nyong'o asked the senator to allow him to work.
Mr Outa has been vocal about the county issues he has tabled in the Senate, including the alleged misappropriation of funds in the Kisumu Urban Project (KUP) which led to the closure of some bank accounts.
He wants to know what led to closure of the accounts and what the findings of investigations are so far.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) froze the accounts after funds were wired to the wrong KUP accounts, hindering projects worth Sh4.5 billion that France funded.
Mr Outa has, in the recent past, put the governor on the spot over allegations that Moi stadium and Sunset Hotel are owned by private developers.
He has also questioned plans by to construct a governor's residence at a cost of Sh350 million.
The salvos against Mr Outa were first fired by MPs and the county's leaders of the Orange Democratic Movement, who asked him to stop politicking at the expense of development.
Jared Okello (Nyando) and Aduma Owuor (Nyakach) endorsed Mr Nyong'o for a second term and asked him to hand over to Dr Owili when he completes it.
Mr Okello noted that during campaigns for the 2017 general election, Mr Outa told them Prof Nyong'o was the best candidate.
This has not changed, he said during the service at St Joseph Nyabondo Church Mission Church.
"We will not listen to Outa but will go ahead and re-elect the governor for a second term. We could as well add him another term if the Constitution is amended,” he said.
He told the people of Nyakach, where Deputy Governor hails from, not to allow anybody to lie to them about the politician best-placed to govern the county.
“This is the closest people of Nyakach have been to governor. Continue supporting Prof Nyong’o so that your son Dr Owili can take over from him when he finishes his term."
Mr Owuor questioned the Senator’s academic credentials which he said could lock him out of the race to succeed Governor Nyong’o in 2022.
A lobby group dubbed the Mulembe Movement also warned Mr Outa against criticising the county chief.
Led by chairman Khalid Njiraini, the group said Governor Nyong’o has "greatly" developed the county’s infrastructure and described him as an experienced and capable leader.
“Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o inherited a county with no structures or systems in place and as a former minister for planning in the national government, he is now using his expertise and experience to change and develop Kisumu,” Mr Njiraini said.
Kisumu County Vice Chairman Kennedy Ajwang warned the senator and any other members of the party against attacking each other in public, saying this will attract disciplinary action.
He lauded the governor for the relocation of Kachok dumpsite and the allocation of funds for remuneration of community health workers.
Prof Nyong’o and and Dr Owili asked the senator to allow them to deliver their promises to the people.
The county boss asked the people to protect Dr Owili, saying he had been under attack by the Speaker and members of the county assembly over the budget stalemate.
While pleading with the assembly to approve budget estimates, he said, “We need time to perform. We are really working hard like termites. You will only see a huge anthill as a testimony of our efforts,” he said.
He added, “The journey is still long but even while somebody is trying to shake me, I will not move an inch. Allow me to work."
The governor said that only three members of Parliament from Kisumu had been supporting him - Mr Okello, Mr Owuor and Dr James Nyikal of Seme.
Kisumu has four other MPs - Fred Ouda (Kisumu Central), Shakeel Shabbir (Kisumu East), Onyango K’Oyoo (Muhoroni) and Olago Aluoch (Kisumu West).
Some county leaders have accused Prof Nyong'o of being a lone ranger. Mr Shabbir once accused him of sidelining his constituency because he was elected on an independent ticket.
Senator Outa recently claimed the governor had blacklisted his mobile number and was therefore unreachable.
Deputy Governor Owili said he was solidly behind his boss and would campaign for him for a second term.
“We are working together for the benefit of Kisumu's people. We will not look back but support the governor so he can deliver on his pledges,” he said.
Mr Outa has in the past vowed not to stop questioning how the county government spends taxpayers’ money.
“I am exercising my role as a senator. It is my job to protect the interests of counties. Let nobody misinterpret this as an attack on the governor," he said in May.