Jubilee and Nasa are both champing at the bit for the titanic battle that the Kajiado gubernatorial race has turned out to be, where the incumbent David Nkedianye and former Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku are the front-runners for their respective parties.
Lenku triumphed in the Jubilee party nominations, beating Tarayia ole Kores, while Dr Nkedianye got a direct nomination, as he had no challenger for the ODM ticket.
Where the governor easily beat URP’s Livondo in 2013, this year’s election promises to be a close affair that could swing both ways.
In 2013, many averred that Dr Nkedianye’s victory owed much to the disqualification of Kores from the contest – he did not have a degree. The dynamics have since changed, as is evidenced by the Jubilee nominations where Kores lost.
Kajiado, seen as a battleground region for the two leading parties, is a cosmopolitan area, with healthy populations of Kikuyu, Kamba, Kisii, Luhya and Luo, besides the native Maasai that form the majority.
Apart apart the “exotic” populations, there is also the clan issue and the development record of the incumbent, which are some of the important factors that will shape the outcome of the race.
In 2013, most of the settler voters – who inhabit the county’s satellite towns – voted for Livondo. Currently, Lenku is said to enjoy most of their support. Many of these voters, mainly small business people, are government leaning.
In the populous Kajiado North constituency, about one third of registered voters are made up of the Kikuyu, who are likely to vote to a man to the Jubilee candidate.
Kajiado East, on the other hand, is believed lean more to the Nasa outfit as the number of the immigrants consisting of Kisii, Kamba, Luo and Luhya outnumber the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin in the area.
The clan factor
The three remaining constituencies of Kajiado South, West and Central are believed to have only pockets of settler communities, and this is where the clan factor comes into play in the political matrix
Nkedianye is believed to be fighting hard to shake off an “anti-immigrant” tag from his shoulders, as his opponent has sought to use his stance on subdivision and sale of land, which he has since lifted, punitive against small-time investors in the county.
On the clan issue, each candidate has played the card finely by picking their running mates from the rivals’ clan so as to balance the delicate balancing game that will play a critical role in the outcome of the polls.
Orok-Kiteng’ clan have the numbers yet they have always been ruled by the minority Odomong’i, but it seems they have now awoke to that fact, and and are now demanding a share of the county’s leadership.
Dr Nkedianye, who is from Kajiado East, comes from the Odomong’i clan while Lenku hails from the more populous Orok-Kiteng’. To balance the arithmetic, the governor has decided to retain his 2013 running mate and the deputy governor Paul Ntiati who comes from the same clan as Lenku. Meanwhile, Lenku picked 32-year-old Martin Moshisho, who hails from the populous Matapato section in Kajiado Central, with the hope that the choice of his running mate will eat into the votes from the Odomong’i clan, where his rival comes from.
His erstwhile nemesis turned supporter…
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