By Obegi Malack
Former Kajiado County governor David Nkedianye’s political pact with Kajiado North Member of parliament Joseph Manje has elicited mixed reactions in the county.
The pact details that Manje will deputize Nkedianye in 2022 gubernatorial race to unseat governor Joseph ole Lenku.
The political pact dubbed “handshake” has left many with unanswered questions; Will Manje consolidate Kajiado North votes and are the Maasais ready for a non-Maaasai deputy governor?
The two leaders had maintained that their pact is all about development, unity and inclusivity in the county. In 2017 election Nkedianye (ODM) received 31,584 votes in Kajiado North while Lenku (Jubilee)garnered 64,230 Votes. Lenku won by 174,697, Nkedianye had 146,652. North constituency is still the deciding fact with more than 130,000 votes.
The declaration event in Nkedianye’s residence was attended by a number of leaders among them Kaesha Francis Kaindi MCA Oloosirkon Sholinke Ward, Kajiado East MP aspirant Kakuta Ole Maimai, Jacob Gitau (West), Leah Monirei, Ronald Musengi (North) and George Mocheche (ODM) who lost to Manje in 2017 among others drummed support for duo.
A nonMaasai taking a top position in the county government has been a discussion that has been ongoing for a while now, before joining Nkedianye, Manje had claimed he had engaged gubernatorial aspirants MPs Katoo ole Metito and Peris Tobiko both from UDA, sources indicate that he was not comfortable deputizing a UDA Party candidate.
During Building Bridges’ initiative (BBI) meeting in Smith Hotel Kajiado North residents proposed the top county government positions governor and deputy be shared among communities.
Most residents who attended the meeting proposed the deputy governor position to be a powerful position through BBI.
Some attendees proposed the nonMaasais to be awarded the deputy governor position, this was however rejected by others, former Ngong MCA Paul Supet said the DG proposal should be implemented countrywide by all the 47 counties while Nkaimurunya MCA James Waicha said the power sharing proposals can be implemented through elections agreements but not through the constitution.
During presentation of the proposals in Narok County Manje said the cosmopolitan people had recommended communities to share top leadership positions in the county level.
“They proposed if a governor is from Maasai community the deputy governor should be from another community, there should be equitable distribution of resources,” Manje said during the Narok BBI meeting.
Other proposals presented by Manje was for distribution of resources according to population of the regions in a formula “One Man One Vote One Shilling”.
The proposals were opposed by some Maasai leaders who had also presented proposals for Maa Nation to be allowed to take all elected positions in Maasai land.
During Azimio la Umoja meeting in Ongata Rongai attended by Maa leaders and professionals former Kajiado central MP David ole Sankori noted that Maasais should be allowed to take all leadership positions in their ancestral land.
The Nkedianye/Manje pact has raised a lot of questions whether Maasais are ready to allow sharing of top positions or whether Manje will maintain his votes.
Most Kajiado North MCAs have already taken positions, Mwathi Pere (Rongai), Robert Sungura (Ngong), Martin Kimemia ( Oloolua) nominated MCA Onesmus Ngogoyo have joined UDA and have shown support for Kajiado South MP Metito while Nkaimurunya MCA James Waisha supports current governor Lenku.
MCA Kimemia who spoke with County Press maintained that the Kajiado North people do not need positions but a leader who will bring equal distribution of resources in the county, he said is not concerned about who will be the deputy governor of Katoo.
According to James Kimani a resident of Ngong it is too early to predict who will take the gubernatorial position. He says people are yet to decide, the selection of deputy president by top presidential contenders Raila Odinga and DP William Ruto will also have a major impact in gubernatorial elections in the county.
This is not the first time nonMaasais have tried to seek top leadership in the county. In 2013 Obadiah Njoroge Kimani vied for governor with George Mbeche as his deputy governor the duo managed around 30,000 votes. They had decamped to Party of Action POA after they lost in TNA nominations.
In 2017 George King’ori also vied for governor but later signed an agreement with Moses Parantai as his deputy, Parantai later abandoned King’ori in last minutes and supported Lenku.
The picking of Manje as a deputy will definitely have a major impact on who other aspirants Katoo, Francis Meja, Tobiko and Tarayia ole Kores choose as their deputies. It will also have an influence in handshake coalition, there has been friction between the aspirants Nkedianye, Lenku and Tarayia Kores which was publicly witnessed during Azimio la Umoja meeting.
Kores has been claiming is the favorite candidate in ODM, accusing Nkedianye of leaving the party when it needed him most and supported re-election of Uhuru Kenyatta after supreme court presidential petition and also claiming Lenku has been supporting OKA team, the governor has however maintained is in Jubilee party and supports Raila.
In 2017 Lenku clinched Jubilee Party’s ticket garnering 18,456 votes in party primaries, while his then rival Kores received 6,705 votes but accused the party of unfair nominations decamping to ODM, the question now is if the governor will be handed the party ticket without nominations since there is no politician who has declared to vie for governor in Jubilee party.