Azimio inside war gives UDA upper hand in Kajiado gubernatorial race

By Obegi Malack

ODM Party leader Raila Odinga has remained mum about zoning that will see Azimio have one gubernatorial candidate fly the coalition flag.

The Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance presidential candidate kept off zoning discussion and endorsed governor Joseph ole Lenku during the governor’s re-election launch in Kajiado Central.

Azimio has two candidates former governor Dr David Nkedianye and incumbent Lenku.

On January this year during the funeral of Mzee Mositet Korinko, father to Jubilee vice chair former Senator Peter Mositet the ODM leader said Azimio was to use consensus or nominations to pick a gubernatorial candidate to fly the coalition flag.

Governor Lenku who was then in Jubilee Party had shared same sentiments maintaining that the coalition will lose the seat to UDA if zoning is not done.

The zoning debate had caused confusion among the two candidates forcing them to exchange parties two months after Raila’s announcement, Nkedianye moved to Jubilee with Lenku moving to ODM.

After decamping to ODM the incumbent governor changed tune he now says Azimio should allow him and Nkedianye to battle it out on August 9th general elections. During a press conference in Rongai Jubilee team led by Nkedianye said whether there will be zoning or not they are ready and their competitor is UDA gubernatorial candidate Katoo ole Metito.

During the Monday rally that was attended by a number of Azimio leaders among them Peter Kenneth, Charity Ngilu and Junet Mohamed it was clear the political war is between the two candidates Nkedianye and Lenku.

Odinga said he endorsed Lenku since he was in his party ODM and recognized that Azimio has two candidates vying for the same position. His endorsement was a boost to Lenku a month after awarding him a direct ticket.

Azimio la Umoja Jubilee Party vice chairman David Murathe who also attended the rally said,

“All those in Azimio are our people, they will organise meetings and we will attend, wanaume ni kuonana,’ He shrugged off demands from his colleagues to endorse governor Lenku.

Kajiado Central MP Kanchori Memusi (ODM) who has endorsed Nkedianye did not attend the event, he said he has not been directed by his party leader to endorse any gubernatorial candidate. He said Odinga has left the electorates to choose their leader.

UDA Party Gubernatorial aspirant MP Katoo ole Metito

Memusi’s rival Moses Birisha (Wiper party) who was allowed to address the gathering claimed is the acting MP after the incumbent failed to attend the launch.

Memusi later shared a message on social media criticizing governor Lenku.

`When you try to force things that are not meant to be… Unaitwa bure kabisa kwa function yako. Today was a handover ceremony preparation by Lenku. Baba Raila Odinga tuko na wewe hata waseme nini.’

The Azimio inside wars played out during the meeting and now opinion leaders have pointed out that the in-house war will cost them the gubernatorial seat.

Incumbent senator Philip Mpayeei who lost UDA nominations to Ole Seki endorsed Nkedianye with politician Juliana Katimua who lost UDA women rep nominations to Leah Sankaire decamping to team Lenku.

UDA Party still remain a force women rep Janet Teiyaa who left the party to Azimio and declared she will vie as independent candidate and support Nkedianye returned to the party after a meeting with Deputy President William Ruto.

Former NTSA director Francis Meja and Rachel Gitonga have declared their support to Katoo while MP Peris Tobiko who claimed the nominations were rigged has maintained she is still in UDA Party,

`We associate with the courage and sacrifice that Hon. Janet Teyiaa has made in rescheduling her political ambition to back the UDA’s Woman Representative candidate for Kajiado County, Leah Sankaire. United we win,’ DP Ruto said after meeting Teiyaa.

It is clear the DP has started to put his house in order but the Azimio remain scattered and fighting among themselves.

According to sources Katoo may appoint a running mate from Kajiado North, this will see him get a share of the constituency’s votes in a region that has majority votes in the county a back up by Tobiko from East that has second majority votes will see the party shake the Azimio divided house.

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