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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Who will win Kajiado Olo0lua civic by-election?

With six candidates cleared to run for the Oloolua ward in Kajiado North constituency, the battlelines are already drawn with both Cord and Jubilee promising each other a bruising battle. The seat fell vacant following the death of George Nyoike of TNA.
But even as Jubilee brags of having put its house in order in the May 4 2015 by-election, Cord says that it will be a repeat of the Kajiado Central by-election in which Cord’s candidate Elijah Memusi humiliated JAP’s Patrick Tutui in a hotly contested race.
Jubilee’s candidate who is to fly the Jap flag is Martin Njogu while Cord has nominated Ali Abdirahaman. Other candidates are Peter Wambua who is flying the Maendeleo Party ticket while Joshua Orina, Stephen Lemeiyan and Paul Ayanje are independent candidates.
With the campaigns gaining momentum, both teams have hit the ground running and it is now shaping up to be a two-horse race between Njogu and Abdirahaman. Investigations however reveal that ethnicity is now playing a major role ahead of the by-elections.
In the 2013 elections, ODM missed the seat with less than 1,000 votes is perceived to be highly involved in ethnic calculations that was the case in Kajiado Central in which Cord used the Kamba, Somali, Luo and Luhya votes to win the seat. Already, Cord has met elders and representatives from Luo, Luhya, Kamba and Kisii who have agreed to throw their weight behind Abdirahaman. During the last general elections, TNA’s candidate Nyoike garnered 3,981 votes against ODM’s candidate Daniel Onderi who got 2,554 votes. Others were Brian Sekento of KNC (982), George Ngugi of Chama cha Mwananchi (115), James Njuguna of DPK (606), Joseph Ndungu Chege of GNU (808), Michael Lesomo of Safina (158), Michael Njoroge of Narc (369), Paul Kanyanje of Poa (505) and Pauline Kariuki of UDF who garnered 526 votes.
Although Cord’s presence has not been felt so much on the ground, Jubilee has already held several campaign rallies with a number of MPs from outside and within Kajiado county and by extension, the  Maasai region doing groundwork.
Investigations, however, reveal that already the Jubilee campaign team is split with claims that those who handled the Kajiado Central by-elections should not play any role in the current campaigns as they are said to have pocketed huge amounts of money meant for campaigns resulting into a devastating defeat by Jubilee in the hands of Cord.
Cord’s chances of winning the seat have been given a boost after a Kajiado North politician Persimei Gitau who was Jubilee’s candidate for the Kajiado North seat in 2013 elections threw his support behind the Cord’s candidate.
Another prominent Kajiado politician, Oliver Seki who has been a staunch Jubilee supporter has also thrown his weight behind the Cord candidate. His defection from Jubilee to Cord is now being said to be a big blow to Jubilee and could backfire on the ruling party.  Sources say it was Seki who was behind the success of the late Nyoike whom he single-handedly funded.
Other politicians who have thrown their weight behind the Cord candidate are Samson Moindi who was the Kajiado North ODM candidate in 2013 as well as Andrew Nyangwansa of ODM who has also thrown his weight behind the ODM candidate.
Already claims of rigging have been the talk during the campaigns with ODM claiming that the Jubilee candidate has been using relief food to woo voters. But what has come out clearly is that the favourite candidates are from outside Maasai region.
It is now emerging that the Jubilee campaign trail team is divided with MCAs from the region saying they will intensify campaigns for Kimemia and shame MPs who worked against the party in the Kajiado Central by-election. The MCAs believe the MPs Jubilee had fronted to campaign in Kajiado did not involve them in the real campaigns hence dismal performance by Tutui.  “Kajiado Central was full of selfish people who could not help the president capture the seat but focused on their own interests,” said one MCA who was literally locked out of the Kajiado Central seat.
Already, ODM has constituted its campaign team with Judith Pareno, ODM chairperson of elections at the helm, who says she is confident the party will hand Jap another jab below the belt. “They should read the signs of the times and just pack and go because this is an onslaught ahead of the 2017 general elections as we are not sleeping and we will replicate what we did in Kajiado Central, Pareno said.
Leading the Jubilee campaigns is TNA national chairman and nominated MP Johnson Sakajja who launched his campaigns in Bulbul, Ngong town. Analysts now say the elections will be tricky considering the manner in which both Jubilee and Cord conducted the by-elections. It all started with ODM which first conducted primaries and later nullified the results, denying the winner Eli Gor a chance to contest on ODM ticket.
According to Pareno, they nullified the nomination due to poor turn out and did a poll survey and when the party did a survey; Ali came first in the survey. It was for this reason that the party gave him a direct ticket to fly the ODM flag.
To ODM, Oloolua ward by-election is a battle of supremacy between newly formed JAP and ODM after the former lost the Kajiado Central seat. ODM chairman John Mbandi said they will teach Jap a political lesson as they did in Kajiado Central constituency.