By Obegi Malack
Kajiado County gubernatorial race took another twist on Monday after Azimio la Umoja running mate Martha Karua endorsed Jubilee Party gubernatorial candidate Dr David Nkedianye.
Karua who held rallies in Kajiado, Isinya and Kitengela towns urged residents to vote in the Jubilee candidate, it was clear the Nark Kenya Party leader was comfortable with Nkedianye she had held a meeting with the former governor before in absence of governor Joseph ole Lenku’s absence.
A campaign schedule seen by County Press indicates the Monday rally is the last rally the Azimio leaders are holding in Kajiado County.
Karua flew in same helicopter with Nkedianye and other leaders. They were accompanied with Kajiado Central MP Elijah Memusi (ODM) and Kajiado North MP Joseph Manje who is Nkedianye’s running mate.
Karua endorsed Nkedianye, Memusi, senator candidate Moses Sakuda (Jubilee) and other candidates who she said are Raila’s soldiers and should be elected on August Polls.
The endorsement of the candidates comes few months after endorsement of governor Lenku by Raila, this was during launch of Lenku’s gubernatorial bid in Kajiado town.
The ODM Party leader said Lenku is his party’s candidate and he supports him, he however recognized that Azimio has other candidates.
During Azimio recent rally in Kajiado North few weeks ago which was led by Raila and Karua, the two principals stayed away from the endorsements and only campaigned for themselves, Nkedianye and Lenku were only recognized as Azimio gubernatorial candidates and were both given a chance to address the crowd.
Raila has not advocated for six- piece in Kajiado county but has directed voters to elect Azimio candidates in all elective seats.
The two gubernatorial candidates have been fighting for space during rallies organized by Azimio with each candidate mobilizing supporters to counter each other during the rallies, the two candidates have equally been heckled infront of the leaders.
Nkedianye has accused Lenku of sidelining other communities and calling them “snakes” with Lenku defending himself claiming he meant his competitors visit witch doctors to get elected.
The Azimio inside war definitely gives UDA gubernatorial candidate Katoo ole Metito a head start with endorsement of his party leader Deputy President Dr William Ruto and his running mate Righati Gachagua.
DP Ruto has held several rallies in the county drumming support for Kenya Kwanza candidates and directed voters to strictly vote UDA candidates.
Gachagua campaigned in North on Sunday for only UDA candidates from governor to MCA no politician from another parties was allowed to address the gathering.
Environmentalist, politician Anita Soina who left UDA for GTAP joined the Sunday rally but was not allowed to address the gathering, the politician complained of harassment from some UDA supporters.
According to political analyst Thomas Supeyo the Azimio inside war may cost the candidates gubernatorial seat even other positions even though it has an upper hand in presidential race in Kajiado County due to its huge number of candidates vying under the coalition.
Another gubernatorial candidate Ambrose Ng’ang’a Kago (Independent) is yet to declare his presidential candidate and has not attended major rallies.
Raila had said there was to be consensus but later went quiet on the issue causing confusion among candidates.
The consensus was to ensure Azimio votes are put in one basket. With the two candidates in the ballot now Supeyo says there is possibility of them sharing the votes, for one candidate to win he must get more than more than two thirds of the Azimio votes.
Katoo had said Raila did not allow consensus since is looking forward for the two candidates to mobilize votes for him, the politician who rarely attacks Raila says his opponents have been in power before and failed electorates.
Governor Lenku had been calling for consensus when he was in Jubilee but changed tune after defecting to ODM while Nkedianye has maintained whether there is consensus or not is ready for the August election.
The two leaders have been in the ballot before Lenku vied in Jubilee in 2017 won by garnering 174,697, Nkedianye (ODM) had 146,652. Nkedianye was sent home by Kajiado North voters who gave Lenku 64,230 Votes with Nkedianye (ODM) receiving 31,584 votes with entry of Katoo who selected his deputy Judy Pere from North and selection of Manje as Nkedianye’s deputy the candidates will now share the cosmopolitan region votes.
Nkedianye is from East while Katoo and Lenku are from South, Lenku retained his deputy Martin Moshisho who is from Kajiado Central.
Clan politics play major role in Maasai politics Nkedianye is from Kaputiei of Red cows clan ( Odomongi).
Katoo who has represented Kajiado South for four terms is from Kisonko subclan, he also shares same lineage with Nkedianye(Odomongi). Lenku is from the Black Cows clan(Orokiteng) and shares subclan( Kisonko) with Katoo.
Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko who was defeated by Katoo in UDA Party nomination has remained silent on who she will support for governor. She had been listed in UDA nominations list for senate,others who are in the list gazetted by IEBC are John Antira Ketora ODM nominee to national assembly, Betty Montet ODM nominee to Senate, Purity Sein Karariet ODM nominee to Senate and Leah Momirei Jubilee nominee to Senate.
Kajiado County total registered voters is 463,273, Kajiado North leads with 134,880 registered voters followed by Kajiado East with 116,336 votes, others are Kajiado West 75,173, Kajiado South 59,976 and Kajiado Central 65,823.