By Abdi Hussein
Build up to the Kajiado County 2022 gubernatorial duel is emerging to be a contest of candidates from the Ilkisonko and IIkaputiei Maasai sub clans.
The dominant Ilkisonko clan is from
Kajiado South Sub County while the IIkaputiei sub clan resides in Kajiado East
The battle for the seat is snowballing into a political duel between the incumbent Joseph ole Lenku and his longtime friend turn foe Kajiado South MP Judah Katoo Ole Metito, both from Ilkisonko clan.
Key candidates from from Ilkaputiei
clan are former Governor David Nkedianye and rubble rouser Kajiado East MP
Political pundits describe the contest as a four horse race, pitting interested aspirants from within the troubled Jubilee party.
Former Olkejuado County Council
Chairman Taraiya Kores and former National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA)
boss Francis Menja could however also spring surprise.
Factors that could influence the outcome include the urban centers swing votes block and the aftermath of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.
“I vowed to unite Kajiado residents devoid of their different ethnic backgrounds. Better Service delivery to my people must never be substituted by politics. Let us avoid early campaigns that may polarize the county, “says Governor Lenku
The choice of a running mate for the position of Deputy Governor will also spice up the contest.
According to IEBC 2017 records, Kajiado had 411,193 registered voters with 80 percent of total voters participating in the last elections.
The Governor Lenku euphoria swept across the urban centers giving him 174,982 votes on a Jubilee ticket against the then incumbent Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party David Nkedianye’s146,634 votes.
Migrant voters who reside in the
urban centres across the sparse county helped Lenku carry the day, with PNU’s
Daniel Mpute Nina Livondo managing a paltry 3,012 votes.
After his election, Lenku has since 2018 embarked on consolidating his political base making heavy political inroads into ODM perceived political zones.
In the last three years, Lenku has largely managed to dismantle the opposition in Kajiado County.
Most former ODM stalwarts, among them ODM County Chairman Daniel Osoi were given plum positions in his administration.
The 2017 ODM women MP candidate
Esther Somoire is serving her third year as the County Executive Committee Member
(CECM) in the prestigious health docket.
The Governor also managed to convince ODM Kajiado West Parliamentary seat loser Joseph Ole Simel to back his administration.
He recently buried the hatched with his fierce critic Kajiado Central Legislature Elijah Memusi also of ODM.
The BBI platform has also created
political dalliance between Lenku and ODM nominated Senator Judith Pareno.
The county boss doubles up as BBI South Rift coordinator and is said to be consolidating his urban center and rural areas support especially in informal settlements.
He is also expected to ride on the Uhuru-Raila BBI agenda considering the two leaders have a projected 56 to 46 ratio fanatical support according to figures from the last two general elections record.
Katoo ole Metito, the longest serving MP in the county with four terms under his belt, has also thrown his hat in the ring.
The quite schemer operates from under the table in his political dealings but is said to be enjoying the support of Deputy President William Ruto, owing to several delegations he has organized to visit the DP’s Karen home.
Coming from Governor Lenku home ground, the former internal security boss is said to be positioning himself not necessarily to win the elections but to whittle down Governor Lenku’s vote.
Others argue that incase he retains his parliamentary seat and the BBI sails through, he has a high chance of being appointed to the cabinet.
”For almost 20 years Katoo has been a centre of power in Kajiado South and political broker at both national and county government levels.
“With Lenku’s influence growing, he
is also trying to stump his authority. He is a shrewd politician who knows
how to seize opportunities, “said a close friend.
He will bank on Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) to mobilize support as was evident on Mashujaa Day, when he hosted 23 MCAs in Kajiado South.
The MCAs skipped the main Mashujaa celebrations ceremony that was presided by the Governor at the Kajiado KCB grounds.
Recently when addressing a section
of media in Kimana township, he loaded his development record, citing roads,
electricity connection and schools expansion.
”In every election, I have always widened my gap from my close challenger. My track records can easily win me a fifth term but I will vie for governorship in 2022,”said Katoo
On the other hand, IIkaputiei Clan flag is likely to be flown by former county boss Dr David Nkedianye and Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko, in case they go separate ways.
Nkedianye has broken his political silence assuring his supporters his name will be on the ballot paper as he seeks to oust his successor.
Initially, Nkedianye has been a silent General in a political pact compromising himself, former Kajiado Senator Peter Mositet, former NTSA boss Francis Menja, former Nairobi speaker Alex Magelo and Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko under the Muungano banner.
The pact was mooted to build a strong political outfit that would support Nkedianye’s candidature but cracks are said to have emerged after Ms Tobiko declared her bid.
In 2017 general elections, Nkedianye had massive support in Maasai land losing in populous urban centres. However, the soft spoken scholar might tilt tides to his favor riding on his five years tenure score card.
MsTobiko has been conspicuously missing at a recent Pro BBI meetings held at Mositet;s Ong’ata Rongai home that has turned into a power brokerage house.
According to her handlers, she has her eyes on Governorship with her support base being the populous Kitengela town that is dominated by immigrants.
The four gubernatorial front runners are flirting with swing urban voting block after holding secret meetings with leaders of different communities to arrest growing political rebellion.
The Service Party of Kenya(TSP) leader Mwangi Kiunjuri has been making inroads meeting leaders and grass roots mobilizers in the area.
Also in the meeting was Kajiado North MP Joseph Manje, Governor Lenku’s ally and former Kajiado gubernatorial aspirant George King’ori who is currently eyeing the Kajiado East parliamentary seat.